While many hotels now offer rooms that have been adapted for disabled travellers, the Mercure Hobart has upped the ante, with eight rooms adapted for those with visual or hearing impairment.
Guests with hearing impairment can stay in a room that includes an under-pillow vibrating pad that is linked to the hotel’s fire alarm, and an alarm clock with a strobe light.
Those with visual impairment can benefit from features such as audio versions of the room compendium and room service menus, large-button telephones, Braille signage and touch-reactive alarm clocks.
The hotel’s public areas as well as the front desk services have also been adapted, with services such as a hearing loop and Braille provided, while the restaurant and bar menus are available in either Braille or audio versions.
Hotel staff have also undergone training, ranging from basic sign language and disability awareness to how to use technology such as the National Relay Service, which enables deaf people to make and receive phone calls.
The changes have been made in conjunction with organisations including the Tasmanian Deaf Society and Royal Guide Dogs Tasmania, which have praised the hotel for taking disability access beyond the mobility-impaired.
This article is an excerpt from Jane E. Fraser’s weekly travel column in The Sun Herald, Sydney.