TOUR FR(I)END: Accessible Tourism for the deaf
Have you ever spent your holidays in a foreign country where you had no single way of communicating with the locals? Can you imagine the difficulty that such a situation would cause for finding accommodation, tours and transports?
Fortunately, nowadays most hotels use English as an international language, in order to communicate with their guests. They also often hire multilingual staff to offer some more support when their guests are not fluent in English and all information is usually provided at least in both the local language(s) and in English, making it easy to access for a great number of people. But what if the barrier is of different kind?
Deaf tourists will usually experience some more difficulties in accessing the same information as hearing tourists. As their mother tongue is often sign language, they will need to choose specific countries or travel with an interpreter. Many deaf people suggest that being able to use sign language during their holidays would increase the possibilities in terms of choice of travel location, and thus tourism accessibility.
The goal of our new Erasmus+ project called “TOUR FR(I)END – Friendly Redesign of Inclusive Experiences N’ Destinations for Deaf people” is to make tourism more deaf-friendly in order to provide deaf and hard of hearing people with as nice an experience as any other tourist. Another goal of this project is to tackle young people unemployment by supporting both deaf and hearing youngsters in acquiring valuable skills to work in the tourism industry.
These goals will be achieved through the writing of several guides destined both to youth trainers, coaches, or career advisors and students. Also, physical serious game will then be created in order to motivate young people to develop their skills by addressing challenges to acquire the knowledge and skills fostered in the guides.
International Sign Language will be one of the project’s focuses, but some other adaptations will be explored, such as Cued Speech, iconic language, pictures and pictograms.
Practically, the partners will create:
- A methodological guide
- A Learning training guide for basic skills of people working in touristic industry
- A Learning training guide for learning basic sign language phrases using them in the field of tourism
- A Learning training guide for trainers focusing on touristic industry basics, international sign language and use of created game-tool
- A Phygital Serious Game
(Some icons to indicate accessibility for the deaf)
This project will last for two years during which we will inform you of its advancement and give some practical advice on how to foster accessible tourism for deaf travelers.
Facebook page: @tourfriendeu (under development)