Don’t let your hearing loss keep you from seeing the world! Here are five of the prettiest places in America that are known more for their sights than their sounds and offer accommodations for those with hearing impairment.
1. Glacier National Park, Kalispell, Montana
Right on the Canadian border, the jaw-dropping views offered at Glacier National Park encompass sparkling turquoise lakes, grizzly bears and ancient ice glacier formations. This pristine 1 million acre park is a haven for hikers, fishers and geological enthusiasts.
Among the top attractions are the spectacular viewpoints along Sun Highway, hiking up to Sperry Glacier and horseback riding to Waterton Lake. The National Park Service operates five information lodges throughout the park. Although tour guides are available, much of Glacier is self-guided and accessible by car and foot trails. Check here for more information on the park’s special accommodations and services.
2. Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A sprawling space of fantasy and fun for all ages, Disney World offers thrilling rides, shopping districts, water parks and world-class golf courses to cater to every need. Guests who have hearing aids or have hearing loss are offered a range of amenities to ensure they enjoy their Disney World adventure. Upon request, the resort provides assistive listening headphones that amplify sound, handheld captioning devices to complement moving attractions and reflective captioning at its theater-style attractions so that guests can fully immerse themselves in the experience.
3. Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Virginia
Jump more than 200 years back in time to experience life during the American Revolution. This living history city seeks to preserve the ways of the past as it actually happened in the 18th century. The free district is populated by costumed interpreters, restored buildings and a working farm that reflects the culture of early America. Visitors can watch a reenactment of the Storming of the Palace, witness the signing of the Declaration of Independence or learn about heirloom gardening techniques.
Headsets and scripts are available at the Visitor Center for several of the area’s attractions, including the popular orientation film “Williamsburg -- the Story of a Patriot” and programs held in the Hennage Auditorium and the Virginia Room of the Williamsburg Lodge. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation provides a free interactive Tour the Town that visitors can download onto their smartphones or tablets to explore life during the American Revolution.
4. The Getty Center, Los Angeles, California
Perched atop a mountainside, this cultural institution is just as renowned for its stunning architecture, gardens and views as it is for its artwork, making it one of the most visited museums in America.
The 24-acre Getty Center campus is surrounded by terraces and gardens featuring outdoor sculptures, while the gallery is filled with Victorian European and modern American paintings, manuscripts and drawings. Visitors with hearing difficulties have access to assistive listening devices and sign language interpreters while exploring the grounds.
5. Toledo Zoo, Toledo, Ohio
The Toledo Zoo is home to more than 5,000 animals, including the world's first Hippoquarium. Services for the hearing impaired are available in the Museum of Science Administration Office and are provided by Ohio Relay Service. Special programs, such as the Senior Safari Day, have accommodations for visitors who have hearing impairments.
It’s important to have your hearing aids checked to make sure they’re working properly before you head out on your next trip. If you do end up needing adjustments or repairs while you’re away, stop in to any one of Miracle-Ear’s 1,400 locations nationwide.