What Does Hearing Accessible Room Mean When Booking A Hotel?

A hearing-accessible room is a hotel room with certain visual features that can assist people who are deaf or hard of hearing. 

These aspects include accessibility items like lights that flash to indicate incoming phone calls. 

What Does Hearing Accessible Mean?

Hearing-accessible rooms are for those who can not hear well or at all. 

Also, most of these rooms are mobility hearing rooms, so they can accommodate both people with hearing disabilities and those in wheelchairs or who use walkers. 

What is in a Hearing-Accessible Room?

Since a hearing-accessible room has features to help the hearing impaired, they usually use visual cues instead of things you need to hear. 

For example, the hotel room door in an accessible room will usually have a bright light that blinks when someone is at the door. 

These rooms also usually have a TTY phone. 

TTY phones vibrate instead of giving off the traditional ringing noise for incoming phone calls. 

Additionally, these phones allow a person to type their message, so they do not need to speak. 

Many rooms also have a visual alarm to help hearing-impaired guests wake up in the mornings. 

Plus, hearing-accessible rooms have extra safety features for the hearing impaired. 

Often, the fire alarm will blink a very bright light instead of ringing. 

Can I Get Other Accommodations in a Hearing-Accessible Room?

For the most part, whether you can get extra accommodations depends on the hotel and what they can offer to their guests. 

If you want to know about any other visual notification features your hearing accessible hotel room has or that staff can provide you with, ask the front desk. 

Also, since many people who are hard of hearing need other types of assistance, here are some of the common features that you may find inside accessible hotel rooms. 

Accessible Bathroom 

Typically, a hearing-accessible hotel room will also have a modified bathroom. 

These bathrooms are wheelchair accessible. 

Thus, you will usually find a roll-in shower or transfer shower in your hotel room bathroom. 

A roll-in shower is handicapped-accessible, meaning there are no barriers in the way so that you can get in the shower without a hassle. 

Also, the shower floor is slightly sloped so that a wheelchair can enter easily, but water can still drain properly. 

These roll-in showers also typically have grab bars to help a person move around in the shower and a hand-held showerhead for easy bathing. 

Meanwhile, a transfer shower is similar to a roll-in, but it also has a seat. 

Otherwise, if there is no shower, the room will have an accessible tub. 

These tubs are larger than average and have grab bars for easy mobility. 

They also normally have a raised toilet with handrails on the side for easy access. 

But unfortunately, in some of these hotel rooms that increase mobility, the only difference you’ll find is in the bathroom. 

Thus, you may not get a larger room, which can make getting around in a wheelchair more difficult. 

Wheelchair Access 

In general, most accessible rooms of any kind have mobility-accessible accommodations, meaning they have an accessible bathroom and are on the first floor. 

Wheelchair-accessible rooms usually also have a larger bedroom door, a larger bathroom door, and are sometimes more spacious than a regular room. 

These accommodations allow wheelchair users to move around with ease. 

Overall, if the room meets ADA standards for accessibility, it should have all of these features.

The hotel’s core structures should also be accessible for people with limited mobility and who can not hear well.  

A Shorter Bed

Sadly, many accessible rooms still have a standard bed. 

However, more and more hotels are beginning to make their beds lower to the ground and add handrails to the sides of them for easier movement. 

Service Animal Friendly 

Under US law and the Americans with Disabilities Act, hotels must allow service animals into a hotel and treat them as they would any other guest. 

They also can not force a service animal to stay in separate areas of the hotel. 

Therefore, the hotel must allow you to bring your service animal to your room. 

Can I Get a Luxury Room That is Handicap Accessible?

Again, it depends on the hotel. 

Of course, most medium-to-low price chain hotels, like the Holiday Inn, will have a hearing-accessible standard room on the premises. 

But, many of the more expensive hotels and resorts also have rooms that assist the hearing impaired and can accommodate people who use wheelchairs. 

Thus, there is no reason that you can’t get a King leisure room, with a nice flat panel television and pillow-top mattress, if you are hard of hearing. 

You can even sometimes get an accessible room on the top floor if you want a view. 

Just ask the hotel what they have available. 

Do All Countries Have Accessible Rooms?

Unfortunately for avid explorers and corporate travelers, not all countries have laws requiring hotel rooms for the disabled. 

So, depending on what area you are traveling to, you may find it hard to locate a hotel that accommodates the mobility or hearing disabled. 

However, in practically every major city in the world, you should be able to find a hotel that will work for you. 

What Does Hearing Accessible Mean in a Hotel? Conclusion 

Rooms for the hard of hearing have visual signals that help them use the room. 

These rooms usually also have mobility features like wider doorways. 

But, just because you need an accessible room doesn’t mean that you can’t also have luxuries, like a work desk, ceiling fan, a fancy chaise chair, or mini-refrigerator.  

Shop around and find the hotel that is best for you.