Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

Deaf Accessibility In Hotels

Since I do a bit of public speaking, I’ve been traveling thus getting put into hotels. During the beginning of my traveling life, I was put into non-accessible rooms as I really didn’t think too much of them. I never really heard much about them before. As I started learning about accessible rooms, I started asking for them more often when I know I’m going to be alone, which is 98% of the time. (For Buffer, I’m usually with my hearing boyfriend so there’s not really any need for an accessible room.)

I want to tell you about deaf accessible rooms. These rooms tend to be accessible rooms to various disabilities at once, but I can’t speak much about blindness, chronic illnesses, etc., so let’s just stick with deafness.

Here are things you should be able to find in a deaf accessible room:

Deaf Friendly Doorbell - I’ve seen two versions of this. The one I’ve seen the most is an actual doorbell that you push which causes a light inside the room to flash. Most of the time, this light is in the “living room” part of the hotel room so you can easily see it from where you’d likely be the most. Another version I’ve seen is a light is attached to the door and when someone knocks, the vibrations make the light flash. I’m not a huge fan of the latter because it’s only attached to the door. When I was in a room with this, the wall that was near my bed would cut off where you could see the light. Lights should be somewhere a lot more noticeable. Also, the light didn’t always flash when someone knocked.

TTY - Before you try to tell me “Nobody uses TTY anymore!”, I’m just gonna tell you right off the bat that you are incorrect. Oral deaf people use it if they’re not texting and there are countries that don’t even have video phone options yet, so even if they use sign language regularly, they have no choice but to use TTY. Moving on. This is still a useful tool if you don’t have an iPhone that has TTY software or if there’s no video phone and you don’t have an app on your phone. (Which, not having one isn’t likely if you’re Deaf ‘cos you’re likely prepared but go with me here.) I don’t use these myself since I have an iPhone and TTY software, but this is good to have if I can’t use the one on my iPhone. I’m not sure if video phones are available in any accessible rooms. If you know of any hotels that have them, let me know.

Vibrating Alarm Clock - The most important thing to have if you’re doing work travel. I’ve forgotten my own alarm clock once and that was a stressful time, so it’s nice to have one of these in a room as backup.

If you’ve experienced or seen any other accessible features for deaf and hard of hearing people, let me know in the comments. I’m most interested to know if anybody has seen a video phone of sorts in their room.

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