Do you have a fall getaway planned? Are you excited to spend some quality time with family or friends exploring a new place, or can’t wait to spend a week relaxing by yourself at the beach? If you have hearing loss, and struggle to communicate when at home, there are a few things you’ll need to consider when you leave. Finding information about accessibility issues in the city you’re visiting can be one of the biggest challenges to a successful holiday, but a new app might solve that.
An App to Travel
If you have a hearing loss or any mobility disability, you know that traveling can seem impossible. You spend hours researching, trying to find paper or online guides that provide information about accessibility, and just can’t find what you’re looking for. A 23- year-old from Wisconsin decided to take matters into his own hands, and has created an app to help people with disabilities travel. Gabriel Schlieve has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair to get around. He knows the struggle of traveling with a disability, and hopes that this app will make travel more accessible for everyone. He developed this app during a trip to Swaziland to participate in the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Reciprocal Exchange.
The Rebel Traveler’s Guide to the World app is designed to make the world more accessible for everyone. “We have so many great opportunities and great things to see in this world — no one should miss out on that,” says Schlieve. The app provides accessibility information for travelers with disabilities, and includes information about Eau Claire, the Twin Cities, and Chicago. “The point of this app is not just for the physically disabled,” explains Schlieve. “It’s also for people who have vision issues, who are hearing impaired, people who have bad knees or backs, whatever — but would like to travel and would like to know some tips.” Schleives and his partners in Swaziland are collecting more data, and hope to add more cities to the app very soon.
Tips for Traveling
If you’re planning a trip in the next few months, and you’re not visiting a city covered by Schlieve’s app, here are a few tips to make your holiday a success.
Before you book your hotel, take a few minutes to call ahead and ask about available accommodations for people with hearing loss. Find out if they have flashing light notifications for the phone or the doorbell, or if they offer a wake-up service. Some hotels have accessible rooms that will make your stay safer and more comfortable.
Planning a walking tour or a trip to a museum? Many tour companies and museums offer assistive technology to help you hear, such a hearing loops or personal devices. Request the technology you need before you arrive to enjoy a stress-free visit.
Along with apps like the one designed by Schleive, you can get a lot of information through your phone. Download the relevant apps from your airline or bus company to receive text updates on departure times, delayed flights, or gate changes. You won’t need to worry about missing a garbled PA announcement, but can rest easy knowing you have all the information you need to make your connection.
Pack Your Hearing Aids:
Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, you don’t want to forget your hearing aids! Be sure to pack everything you’ll need to hear, and keep all the pieces in your carry-on luggage. Along with your hearing devices, bring extra batteries or your battery charger. If you’re gone for more than a few days, pack your cleaning kit as well, and be sure to maintain your devices while on your trip.
My Hearing Centers
If you’ve been struggling to hear, but want to experience your upcoming holiday to its fullest, then visit us at My Hearing Centers to get a new hearing device in time for your trip. You’ll be amazed at the difference hearing aids will make in your life, improving your relationships, keeping you safe, helping you hear sounds you didn’t even know you were missing, and making travel easy. Visit us today and start your journey to clear hearing.