Travel is a great way to explore the world together as a family, but finding the right destination can sometimes be challenging. Finding places offering accessibility for all travelers, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing, can make a family vacation so much more rewarding for everyone involved. Enter: Washington, D.C., a place going above and beyond in meeting that challenge.
The nation’s capital, which prides itself on being one of the most accessible cities in the world, is home to Gallaudet University, an institution providing higher education for students who are deaf and hard of hearing. It is also the seat of the country’s government and home to a rich political and national history along with wonderful attractions, beautiful architecture and monuments, and great dining and shopping experiences. With a local university providing such a valuable service, it is no wonder Washington, D.C. created an atmosphere accommodating all types of travelers so families can enjoy everything the city has to offer.
Visitors to the D.C. area will find many places where American Sign Language is regularly used, making communication a breeze for everyone. Attractions like International Spy Museum employs staff specially trained on accessibility, making it a wonderful place for those who are blind or deaf to learn the history of espionage. You can even play an interactive spy game while exploring the museum’s exhibits.
All of the city’s numerous Smithsonian Museums offer several features and programs designed specifically to bring the world of art, history and science closer to deaf and hard of hearing visitors. Exhibition videos include captioning and ASL interpretation available upon request with two-week advance notice. The Smithsonian also provides assisted listening devices for all public programs and scheduled tours, and regularly scheduled ASL programming is on the calendars of several institutions like Smithsonian American Art Museum, which offers the Art Signs Program so guests can participate in gallery talks and art discussions using ASL.
Planet Word, a unique museum that is visually friendly and voice activated, specializes in interactive exhibits for all ages, bringing language to life. The museum is designed to introduce and explore languages of all kinds, including several exhibits featuring ASL.
On top of all the great attractions focusing on accessibility, the city also has a large community who use ASL. In the neighborhoods surrounding Gallaudet University, you will find many shops, restaurants and bars with deaf waiters and bartenders who either use ASL regularly or are familiar with signs for their menu items. And if you and your family have a particular fondness for Starbucks, then Washington, D.C. won’t let you down.
The Starbucks, located at 6th and H, adjacent to the Gallaudet campus, is the first signing Starbucks. It was designed specifically with bilingual communication in mind. Employees are fluent in ASL and wear special aprons and pins to indicate their ability to sign. Guests who are not deaf can receive a quick lesson in how to sign the order for their favorite drink.
To top off all the amazing attractions and services you will find throughout the city, Washington, D.C., visitors are encouraged to use the Jeenie app for smartphones and iPads. The app provides round-the-clock assistance, including ASL interpretation.
Ever dreamed of being a mermaid? Well, your dreams could come true on your next family trip. With March 29 National Mermaid Day, these two resorts offer experiences for guests of all ages to enjoy.
Making travel plans can be exciting; did you know planning on how to spend time at the airport the right way can enrich the overall trip experience? As a transfer hub, traveling through Doha's Hamad International Airport is a unique experience, as waiting never feels like waiting at one of the best airports in the world.
Make Best Western your hotel of choice during spring family travels for a sweet reward. This spring, BWH Hotels offers members of its Best Western Rewards loyalty program the opportunity to earn a free night stay.
Known for its clear, vibrantly blue-green waters and varied and historic ports of call, the Adriatic is the new Mediterranean for cruise enthusiasts and family travelers. An Adriatic cruise is especially suited to multigen family trips, since it appeals to all ages with its beautiful beaches, water sports, rich marine life, historic cities, ancient archaeological sites, colorful cultures and varied cuisines. There is truly something for every traveler.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Parents, it’s time to ditch family travel and embark on a romantic vacation at Solmar Hotels and Resorts in Los Cabos. Renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, pristine beaches and unparalleled hospitality, Los Cabos sets the stage for couples looking for a romantic escape away from the kids. At Solmar Hotels and Resorts, guests are invited to take advantage of the romantic accommodations, spa experiences, gastronomic delights and more.