The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities entered into force in July 2016. Currently, we experience an implementation phase, which stands for the introduction of a new standard or a new policy. This means that the government, companies and other organisations must ensure that people with disabilities can participate as much in society as people without disabilities.
We contacted a significant number of hotels, unfortunately, they were unable to answer the following question: "In the event of an evacuation, what measures do you take to ensure the safety of your hearing-impaired and deaf guests and how do you guarantee their privacy during this stay?" After all, these guests cannot hear a fire alarm and visual aids, such as the blinking of a light, offer no outcome during sleep. Also knocking on the door by the staff logically offers no solution. The hotels surveyed cannot guarantee the safety that is essential in the emergence of calamities. In the case of fire and acute evacuation, deaf guests are dependent on the informed staff who, in this very stressful situation, must guarantee their safety. In addition to the considerable promise that is being made, the responsibility for staff members is even greater.
Ongoing research shows the results of a survey conducted by 70 deaf people. The respondents all make use of hotel accommodation themselves and almost 60% does not feel safe during those visits. An incredible 95% of the hotels visited by the respondents did not provide any explanation in regard to health and safety during the check-in (e.g. in the event of an evacuation). Many concerns are raised in case of fire.
Interview Dr. Goldschmidt
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Perspective-taking is about being able to understand a situation from the point of view of another person. Therefore, we interviewed a professor in Human Rights Law. A former director of the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights and as a frequent traveller, she explains the nature of the problem.
Interview Mrs. Jansen
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This interview will visualize the perspective of an Occupational Therapist. This profession implies a paramedical discipline that supports and accompanies deaf people, with the aim of encouraging them to carry out meaningful activities in the areas of self-sufficiency and productivity.
Interview Mrs. Fletcher
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The last interview was conducted with an English deaf-awareness and Basic Sign Language Tutor. She is driven by a desire to improve deaf awareness in the workplace, Ruthy designed an innovative course catered to hotels. Watch the video to get an insight from the deaf community itself.