One in six Australians suffer from some form of hearing loss – a number that is expected to rise to one in four by 2050.
Advances in technology with hearing aids and implants continue to improve. However, travelling when you have a hearing impairment can require a little more preparation… and there are times you might need some assistance.
If you are going away or even just navigating your way around town on your own, we’ve got some tips on how to ease your passage.
1. Get an accessible travel card.
NSW offers travel concessions for people with disabilities. You can apply for a accessible travel card if you are registered deaf.
You may also be eligible for a Hearing Dog. These are highly trained animals who are able to act as extra pairs of ears and alert you to danger. If you have a certified hearing dog, you don’t need to apply for an Assistance Animal Permit.
2. Let people know.
If you are travelling by plane or staying at hotels, make sure you contact the airline and/or your accommodation to tell them you have a hearing impairment. That way the flight attendant or staff can also notify you of any emergencies.
3. Don’t forget extra batteries for hearing aids.
Preparing for contingencies is essential. If you’re going away, ensure you have extra batteries packed, as well as a replacement hearing aid. The last thing you want is to interrupt your holiday looking for such items or going to unnecessary expense.
4. Keep paper and pens or a device handy for communication.
There are times when you or the person you are interacting with may need to write something down. Have your phone notepad handy or just a notepad and pen can be easier.
5. Seek assistance.
Support is available. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is available for people who are under 65 and have a permanent, life-altering disability. For more information, watch this AUSLAN video from the Deaf Society of NSW on how to access the NDIS.
Zest Care are a registered NDIS service provider and can assist you to access the community with the assistance of support workers.