A good hotel’s ultimate purpose is to be hospitable and accommodating to its guests’ needs—this includes the needs of its hearing-impaired and deaf guests. According to the NCRA (National Court Reporters Association), over 28 million Americans are considered deaf or hearing disabled. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, hotels and motels are required to provide effective communication methods to ensure their deaf guests are being properly accommodated. The ADA covers everything from the number of rooms that needed to be accessible to guests who are deaf or hard-of-hearing to requirements for fire alarms and other safety equipment to TV captioning. Here are a few things to double check that you have available to hearing-impaired guests:
Plenty of Visual Aids
The advantage of living in the 21st century is that technology is constantly advancing, allowing service industries the means to better assist and communicate with their customers. TeleTYpewriter (TTY) services and email have long been utilized for communicating with the deaf community. However, technical issues are prevalent with TTY and you are not always guaranteed a quick response with email. This is where texting comes in handy. Many hotels have seen positive impacts on their overall service scores by offering texting services to their guests in general, but can be especially helpful for those who are deaf, as they are unable to hear their room phone ring or a knock on their door. In fact, the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center experienced this first hand when a hard-of-hearing guest checked into their hotel. From ordering room service to housekeeping, using texting services, this guest to communicate quickly and efficiently.
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