Travel safely with these communication tips for people with hearing loss.
Public transportation is a great way to get around, whether you’re running errands in your hometown or traveling abroad. Taking a bus or train is environmentally friendly, can help save money, and offers a fun way to explore a new city without the hassle of parking or figuring out driving directions.
If you have hearing loss, there are a few helpful communication tips to consider to make your next trip on public transportation a breeze.
In this guide, we’ll share tips for using public transportation with hearing loss, including:
- Plan ahead
- Download a transportation app
- Pack hearing devices
- Arrive early
- Inform travel staff about your hearing loss
- Practice hearing loss prevention
Learn more about each of these communication tips for people with hearing loss below!
Preparation goes a long way in ensuring you have a successful and stress-free public transportation experience. Before you go, you may wish to review the travel route or itinerary of your bus or train in case you miss out on verbal announcements along the way. You can also print any tickets or reservations ahead of time or save them to your phone, so you have them ready for a smooth check-in.
Download a transportation app
Depending on your mode of public transportation, you may be able to download an app that shows a map of stops, displays, delays, and other critical information, so you don’t have to rely on audio announcements. Here are a few smartphone apps for traveling with hearing loss that may help.
Pack hearing devices
If you use hearing aids or another assistive listening device, you’ll want to pack it and any additional supplies you may need, including extra batteries, chargers, and cleaning kits. Review our list of things to pack to ensure you have everything you could need during your travels.
Especially for longer trips by bus, train, or air, you may want to arrive at least an hour earlier than recommended. This buffer will allow you to communicate with staff, arrange for a seat that’s easiest to hear or see any announcements en route, and look for any other critical written communications or announcements.
Inform travel staff about your hearing loss
If you feel comfortable doing so, let your bus driver, station attendant, or other travel staff member know about your hearing loss and preferred methods of communication. You may also be able to ask about any hearing loss accommodations to assist you during your travels.
Practice hearing loss prevention
This last tip for using public transportation with hearing loss is all about protecting your hearing from the hustle and bustle of traveling! Train stations, bus terminals, and other public transportation hubs can be noisy – and provide unsafe environments for our hearing. Be sure to practice simple hearing loss prevention tips like wearing earplugs or earmuffs if you’ll be in a loud area, such as waiting for a subway train on a platform where other trains will be passing by. You can also try to limit your exposure by choosing a seat in a quieter location in the station or once you’re on board.
For more resources, tips, and helpful articles for traveling with hearing loss, continue reading the CapTel blog.