"Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), hotels and motels must provide effective means of communications for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing to ensure that they have an equal opportunity to enjoy the goods, services, accomodations, and amenities offered."
- TTY: A hotel must provide a TTY on request for use in guest rooms. Per the U.S. Department of Justice guidelines, a hotel needs to have a TTY at the front desk and have trained desk staff in handling TTY equipment.
- Closed Captioning: These guidelines also specifically mention having closed captioning available for guest room televisions. But be aware that they don't specify a need for staff to be trained on accessing this equipment feature.
- Visual alarms connected to the building's emergency alarm system: Only required to be present in a certain percentage of guest rooms. Be sure to ask for this when placing your reservation.
- Visual notification devices for alerting deaf and hard of hearing guests to incoming telephone calls and door knocks/doorbells. Again this is required only for a certain percentage of guest rooms. Presumably they would be available in the rooms with the visual alarms, but it would be a good idea to discuss this as well when placing your reservation.
The information in this blog post comes from the ADA Business Brief: Communicating with Guests who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in Hotels, Motels, and Other Places of Transient Lodging which can be accessed on the web through this link. Further information on the ADA is available at the U.S. Government's ADA website.
If you find yourself not accomodated at any hotel, you have the right to file a formal complaint following the guidelines stated here.
Thank you to Danielle who provided me with this information so I could be a more informed and better accomodated traveler.
Wishing all of you safe travels this holiday season!