CHERIE KING – Editor and North American Contact
Let’s learn more about this gorgeous creature. It’s question time!
2: Travel Blog and Social Media
- I am profoundly Deaf in both ears.
- I have a Hearing Aid on my right ear
- Went Mainstream in school, with the assistance of Interpreters
- Over 15 years of Speech Training lessons
- Fluent in American Sign Language
- Fluent in Lip-Reading
4: Description in 3 words
Resilient, Bohemian, Quirky
5: Where have you travelled and where was the best and worst?
England, Ireland, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, The Vatican, Portugal, France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Russia, Latvia, The Netherlands, Bahamas, Dominica, Brazil, Ghana, South Africa, Mauritius, India, Singapore, China, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Canada
Best: England Worst: The Vatican
6: Best 3 Countries for Deaf Awareness
England, USA, Germany
7: One way being deaf is an advantage in travel?
I’ve been able to board the plane first, have access to airport lounges, requested any assistance I needed on board the plane. You can get to be first in line at amusement parks as well as get discounted rates on various tours, amusement parks, and theatres around the world. Make sure you ask to see if they have any rates for the Deaf, I’ve found that there are many discounts but they are not advertised – so ask away!
8: One way being deaf is a disadvantage in travel?
Well, I’ve been able to work around several disadvantages however I do wish there was a way to understand the overhead announcement that they make at the tube stations, train stations, airports regarding delays, gate changes, important information that I may need. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been to the wrong gate when my app wouldn’t refresh in time or that I’ve missed the train or took the tube when there was a delay when I needed to get off at a particular station but to find out that it was closed.
9: Best Advice for Deaf Travellers?
Don’t be shy, you will meet people from all walks of life when you travel that are open and accepting and willing to learn sign language to communicate with you! Also, speak up about your Deafness; don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
10: Best Deaf Awareness Advice for hearing travellers?
Be kind, helpful and understanding if a Deaf person asks for help. Also, make sure you don’t cover your mouths when you speak to them, and always make sure they can read your lips. Don’t be afraid to talk to a Deaf person, just because you may not know the language- you’d be surprised how easy it can be to communicate with us.
11: What Deaf Equipment do you carry when travelling?
I always bring hearing aids, tons of hearing aid batteries, spare parts for my hearing aid (since I’ve learned the hard way in Austria when my hearing aid broke down and I had no spare parts….)
I also cannot live without my Iphone/Ipad since I use it to communicate with friends and family around the world; Skype, Facetime are my favorite apps to use besides Imessage.
Another favorite of mine is the HATIS T-Coil Single Headphones for my IPod; it is a flat headphone in the shape of the hearing aid, and rests perfectly behind the hearing aid. Which means you hear the music much better without the background noise, and it also works for your phone, tablet etc.
Recently I got the new Surflink mobile remote to go with my new hearing aid- it has several settings that you can adjust it through your audiologist. On mine, I have the mute button, directional microphone which means I can focus on one on one conversation, there is a music setting and I can also adjust the volume of my hearing aid with the remote. One of my favorite features is the Bluetooth settings which links wirelessly to my Iphone/Ipad, so I can watch my favorite shows, listen to music, or watch youtube without headphones!
12: What’s the most daring activities did you have to do that affected your deafness?
Hmm, I think anything water involved, I went scuba diving in Dominica and Mauritius and I had to take out my hearing aid and leave it behind. It is always hard for me to leave behind my hearing aid on the beach or the boat because I’m always worried that someone would steal it or it would get waterlogged. However, I did love being able to sign underwater when everyone else couldn’t speak because they had the snorkel gear on (another advantage!)
13: Where’s next for you in 2014?
In February I will be embarking on my fifth trip back to England for the Traverse conference in Newcastle. From Newcastle I hope to head up to Scotland, a country that has been on the top of my travel wish list! Back to California in March for the Semester at Sea 50th anniversary celebration, of which I hope to see my Spring 2011 shipmates! Also I might drag my family on another big family vacation across the Mediterranean in the summer…