To whom It May Concern:
I wish to comment to the Access Board's request on the second draft to the ADA on Passenger Vessel Accessibility Guidelines for those with hearing loss.
I have been a passenger on cruises in the past and have wondered why there is no access for those with hearing loss in the movie theatre or the entertainment areas. Needless to say, I have felt left out because I could not hear what was being said by the entertainers or in the movie theatre.
At the beginning of the cruise, when it was time for the drill, I could not hear any of the instructions, I was fortunate to have my husband traveling with me. He had to tell me what was being said. Yet one must realize that he cannot be with me 24/7. So there are issues here that should be considered for those with hearing loss. There are approximately 30 million people with hearing loss. Most of them wear hearing aids or have cochlear implants. Most of them do not use sign language, but depend on speech reading and assistive listening devices to hear the sounds around them.
My comments are:
*to have CART( computer assisted real time captioning) available for the entertainment areas.
*to provide rear window captioning in the movie theatre.
*to have captioning available on all TV screens.
*to have screens available in all passenger areas including the dining room with captioning on at all times relaying all messages and announcements.
*to have hearing compatible phones in all rooms and public areas.
*to have alerting systems such as door knockers and smoke alarms available in the cabins.
I am happy to have had a chance to express my concerns on the safety and good will of those passengers with hearing loss.
President, Hearing Loss Association of America- Westchester Chapter Vice President, Hearing Loss Association of America- New York State