Hearing Accessible Travel Hosts

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Hearing Accessible Travel Hosts

Tue, 09/10/2013

Sandy Spekman, an HLAA member in the New York City/New Jersey area, would like to start something new, called Hearing Accessible Travel Hosts, or HATH. She would like volunteers from cities across the United States to be resource specialists, which will result in more open-captioned performances and lectures, availability of assistive devices, including hearing loops.

Sandy says, “One person can’t do this alone – numbers add up! If you’d like to be a HATH for your city or town, others from different places will be able to travel and enjoy the cultural attractions and theatrical performances that your city offers. Everyone benefits. Having the HLAA Convention once a year isn’t enough – we need more information available on communication access. We need people we can turn to that know what’s hearing accessible – that’s why I’m asking for HATH volunteers.”

If you know someone who is or would like to be a resource specialist on communications access, please help spread the word and email Sandy Spekman.

2013 NYC/NJ Area Hearing Accessibility Tour Highlights

Below is what Sandy has organized as a sample tour of the NYC/NJ area. Please note: This tour is only for October 24-27, 2013. Tickets for the various events need to be purchased in advance. If there’s enough demand, this tour can be offered again at a later date.

If you’re interested in any of the events listed below, email Sandy Spekman. She would like to see future group tours set up tours that will benefit HLAA members. Sandy would like to see more cities offering hearing accessibility information.


Thursday, October 24, 2013
I-Caption Broadway performance, choice of:

The Lion King (8 p.m.)
Newsies (8 p.m.)
Wicked (8 p.m.)
The Book of Mormon (7 p.m.)
Jersey Boys (7 p.m.)

For tickets, www.broadway.com.
For I-Caption, www.soundassociates.com


Friday, October 25, 2013
I-Caption Broadway performance, choice of:

The Book of Mormon (8 p.m.)
Newsies (8 p.m.)
Wicked (8 p.m.)
Jersey Boys (8 p.m.)

For tickets www.broadway.com.
For I-Caption, contact www.soundassociates.com


Saturday, October 26, 2013:
George Street Playhouse, New Brunswick, NJ – Open Captioned Performance:
(NJ Transit has one train that goes from NYC Penn Station to New Brunswick, NJ, then a 15-minute walk)

Gettin’ The Band Back Together (2 p.m.)

For tickets, contact: www.gsponline.org or Janet Tappen at jtappen@georgestplayhouse.org for special rates for those with hearing loss.


Sunday, October 27, 2013
Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn, NJ – Open Captioned performance:
(NJ Transit has one train that goes from NYC Penn Station to Millburn, NJ, then a 10-minute walk).

Honeymoon in Vegas (7 p.m.)

For tickets, contact  www.papermill.org and ask for special seating to sit in the OC section.


Sampling of communication access in New York City museums and cultural attractions:

Tour of the American Museum of Natural History and IMAX with RWC (Rear Window Captioned):  www.amnh.org

Tour of the Museum of Modern Art www.moma.org. If enough people show interest, they will provide a captioned lecture at a 1:30 p.m. Gallery Talk with three weeks’ notice.

Tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which provides assistive devices, hearing loops, and real-time captioning, go to: http://www.metmuseum.org/visit/accessibility  To request real-time captioning, contact the Access Coordination office at 212.650.2010 or email access@metmuseum.org.


What do Hearing Accessible Travel Hosts Need to Do?

  • Keep up-to-date on cultural programs and venues that offer hearing accessibility (also known as communication access), such as captioning, assistive devices, hearing loops, etc., and help others find out what’s available by being a resource specialist.
  • Be familiar with hearing assistive technology to help others. Hearing accessibility means to make available real-time captioning (CART), hearing assistive technology (HAT), written song lyrics, copies of the script, etc., so someone with a hearing loss will have full access to programs/services.
  • Be a resource specialist for out-of-towners traveling to your home town by giving them information about communication accessible venues.
  • Keep track of people who are interested. Numbers add up! One person can’t do it alone. We have to prove that there are many of us who need and will use the technology available.
  • Keep an email list of those interested in captioned events, such as theatrical performances, lectures, and community events. 
  • Request captioning for a theatrical performance at least three months in advance. After a theater or cultural attraction agrees to offer captioning, spread the word. Don’t wait for someone else to do it – do it yourself! Be a leader in this area  and others will follow.