The Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation and Construction commissioned this study because no definitive information exists to form transit policy for the hearing impaired. The study notes the types of problems experienced by the hearing impaired, who frequently lack access to oral communication when using bus, subway, and airplane transportation. The results are missed connections, significant delays, and increased risk in emergencies. Transportation personnel who are not prepared to communicate with the hearing impaired and inaccurate destination information compound the problem. Transportation officials have concentrated on the needs of the mobility and vision impaired. This study suggests, however, that there is rough parity in size among the hearing-, vision-, and mobility-impaired populations. Planners should take account of the needs of the hearing impaired as well as these other populations. Several technologies and methods exist to lessen the problems faced by the hearing impaired. These vary in cost and applicability in transportation settings. In the short term, however, officials can implement low-cost improvements such as installation of amplified telphones and telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDDs), provision of accurate route schedules, and use of note slips on buses. In the long term, we suggest installation of electronic readerboards, visual emergency alarms, and touch screen video monitors and use of sensitivity training sessions.

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 16-18
  • Monograph Title: Transit administration and planning research
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00491221
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309048052
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Feb 28 1990 12:00AM