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Travel Tips for People With Hearing Loss

Reduce extra hassle with a few simple steps

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    Make a Game Plan

    En español | When you have hearing loss, the hustle and bustle of traveling by air, train, bus or ship can seem daunting. But with a little advance planning, you can keep everything running smoothly.

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    Stay Up to Date

    Sign up for text or email alerts when you make reservations so you won’t miss important announcements about delays or cancellations. For hotels and ships, request rooms that are in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design and are equipped with visual or tactile alarm and notification devices.

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    When in Doubt, Bring It Along

    Consider bringing your drying and storage equipment, especially for humid climates, and don’t forget a voltage converter if you're traveling internationally and need to plug it in. Pack hearing-aid supplies such as batteries and tubing in your carry-on.

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    Getting Through a Noisy Terminal

    Make sure you’ve got a quick and easy way to “talk” to others in hectic or loud situations. A pen and pad of paper might seem like a no-brainer, but it can save the day. For the tech-savvy traveler, a notepad app on your smartphone will do the trick.

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    Passing Through Security

    You can keep your hearing equipment on when passing through metal detectors or body scanners, but the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) advises that you notify a security officer. You can do this discreetly before screening begins by carrying a notification card. Print one at www.tsa.gov.

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    When Flying Solo

    Let the gate staff, flight attendants and your seat partner(s) know that you have hearing loss so they will alert you about any announcements. By the way, it’s OK to keep your hearing equipment turned on even after being asked to “turn off all electronic devices.”

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    Take Advantage of Rail Discounts

    Amtrak offers a 15 percent discount to adult passengers with a disability (and the offer extends to one traveling companion).

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    Busing It

    Greyhound has a Disabilities Travel Assistance Line (800-752-4841) you can use while planning your trip to request extra assistance. At the terminal, communicate your hearing loss to ticket agents and drivers for priority seating (if available).

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    Choose the Right Cruise Experience

    Some things to ask cruise lines before you sign on the dotted line: Do your theaters have assisted-listening devices (ALDs) available and, if not, do you provide closed-captioning or scripts? Do you provide sign language interpretation services on request? Can I reserve a stateroom with a teletypewriter for communicating with the guest relations desk?

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    Once You’re On Board

    Be sure to inform the appropriate service personnel of your hearing loss so they will make an extra effort to reach you in an emergency. And last but not least, keep your hearing equipment away from your room key — it can demagnetize the strip.

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