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SOURCE: Marriott International
September 05, 2014

The Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel Introduces New Technology to Help Hearing-Impaired Guests

State-of-the-Art System Is a First Among Arlington, VA Luxury Hotels

ARLINGTON, VA--(Marketwired - Sep 5, 2014) -  One of the key components to great travel is good communication. Whether a person is reviewing directions to a museum, getting tips for the best local restaurants or understanding all the amenities available on property, making memories starts with inspired conversation. And at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel, new T-Loop technology ensures that hearing-impaired guests don't miss a word of it.

Developed by Ampetronic, the new technology was specially designed for counters and reception desks like the one at this hotel in downtown Arlington, VA. But the T-Loop driver's discreet proportions (it measures just 128-by-74-by-35-mm big) belie its significant amplification capabilities. Metal-loss correction ensures a superior audio quality for the listener, while the features -- choice of microphone, integral power supply and free technical support -- guarantee it's as easy for hotel associates to use as it is helpful for the hearing-impaired guests they chat with.

When a hearing-impaired guest arrives at the hotel, signage directs him/her to the specially designated area of the reception desk where s/he can indicate a preference to use the T-Loop technology. The hotel associate then furnishes the guest with a special headset, before s/he speaks into a connected microphone to communicate clearly and effectively.

The T-Loop technology represents exciting possibilities for hearing-impaired travelers and further distinguishes this property from other hotels in Arlington, VA. Now hearing-impaired guests can enjoy enhanced communication as well as the property's extensive repertoire of amenities. Sleek architecture, boutique styling and a location in the heart of Crystal City's business and dining district promise a one-of-a-kind stay that hearing-impaired guests can now experience to the fullest.

While T-Loop technology may be a rarity among downtown hotels in Arlington, VA, the difference it makes for hearing-impaired guests cannot be overemphasized. Not only does it help facilitate the sort of conversations that lead to great travel experiences, but it demonstrates that the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel is a place that strives to understand and attend sensitively to all of its guests' needs. And that's one message that consistently comes across.

About the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel
Travelers looking for a stylish fusion of originality and luxury will appreciate the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel. The boutique property welcomes guests with 300 guest rooms and suites outfitted with plush Revive bedding, organic Aveda bath products, mini-refrigerators, Plug-in Technology Panels and 37-inch, flat-panel HD televisions. But there's plenty more to find outside one's guest room. SOCCi, for example, wins over palates with its modern Italian dishes that feature local produce, while Espressamente illy serves as SOCCi's ideal café counterpart. A new lobby, fitness center, heated indoor pool and bicycle rentals are just a few more ways the property stands out from other Arlington, VA hotels, while corporate guests will appreciate the hotel's 16 flexible meeting rooms. Much like the property itself, the hotel's location caters to every sort of traveler. Boeing, Lockheed Martin, IBM, the Pentagon and countless other businesses and government agencies are close by for business guests. And local attractions like Mount Vernon Trail and the National Mall make for sightseeing that's as inspired as the hotel.


Communicating with Guests with DisabilitiesBy Stephanie Wharton, Hotel News Now 3/16/2012NVRC Note: This article is based on a webinar “Communicating with Customers with Disabilities—Understanding Your Obligations”. The first part of the article is about serving guests with visual impairments. Below is the second part in which Howard Rosenblum, CEO of the National Association of the Deaf, shared important points to keep in mind regarding communication with hearing-impaired guests.


Tips for effective communication

• Safety: If there is a fire alarm, the hotel staff must provide notification to deaf and hard of hearing just as everyone else has that knowledge. “The old system in 1991 would allow for mobile alarms to be used, but that is not the case anymore.” Portable alarms only work if there is an actual fire in the room, Rosenblum said. Alarms must now comply with the NFPA 71 National Fire Alarm Code.

• Alerts for doors and phones: A visual device, such as lights for doorbells and knocks at the door as well as for phone calls, would make the room more accessible to a deaf or hard of hearing guest.

• Wake up devices: “Deaf individuals don’t have the option of using an alarm clock to wake up,” Rosenblum said. A bed shaker is a good alternative.

• Televisions: Televisions have captioning built-in from previous regulations, but it is still reasonable for hoteliers to check with movie companies they have contracts with to ensure captioning for those services.

• Hearing dogs: “Access is required for hearing dogs … even when there is a ‘no pet’ policy,” Rosenblum said. The hotel staff is only allowed to ask two questions to a guest with a service animal—if the dog is required because of a disability and what tasks the dog performs. Although the hotel can assess any penalties for cleanup required because of the dog staying in the room, it cannot charge for the dog’s stay.

• Guest-staff interactions:

o If the guest arrives and the front desk does not understand his speech or doesn’t understand sign language, “pen and paper should be sufficient,” Rosenblum said. However, if there is a conference with the majority of attendees being deaf or hard of hearing, hiring an interpreter would make the check-in and check-out processes run more smoothly.

o “(Hotel staff members) should know how to handle phone calls,” Rosenblum said. “Sometimes people think a call sounds strange … people need to be aware not to hang up on those calls.” Relay calls often sound like telemarketing phone calls, but hotel staff members should be patient as the operator communicates with the customer and hotel staff.

• Emergencies: If a hearing-impaired guest is stuck in an elevator and hits the emergency call button, they probably will not be able to reply to the person on the other line. Rosenblum said it is important not to assume there is no one in the elevator if there is silence on the other line.


All communication features for hearing-impaired guests are portable, with the exception of the fire alarm, Rosenblum said. The teletypewriter required for phones and bed shakers can be moved from room to room to accommodate guests as needed.

See the full article at





By Cheryl Heppner, 6/16/11

What a fabulous first day at “A Capitol Celebration,” Hearing Loss Association of America’s annual convention at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City!  It was a gray morning with ever-increasing drizzle when I ventured out with Galaxy for our early morning exercise, but we found a wonderful spot for Frisbee chasing with tree canopies for protection.  From there we raced over to the Starbucks adjacent to the convention hotel to grab a couple things for my breakfast as well as Galaxy’s conference banana.  Watching the faces of people as they walked briskly toward me on the sidewalk, intent on getting to work, I saw many of them smile at the sight of my goofy dog trotting proudly with her banana. It filled me with good cheer. 

Things kicked off in the exhibit hall with  grand opening from noon to 1:30 pm. There were some clever food choices for those attending, but I was already full.  Somehow four of us from NVRC – Bonnie, Marla, Kalen and me – bumped into each other on the second floor near the Hyatt’s Cinnabar café, though not all at the same time.  Kalen and I ended up eating lunch at Cinnabar, and I got my first big surprise of the conference when our orders arrived.  We both ordered what we thought were appetizer-sized portions, but they were served on plates more the size of serving platters.  My green salad was enough for two meals.

I’m busting my buttons a bit because two of the HLAA staff took me aside today to thank me for the hotel staff training that Bonnie and Marla did earlier this week to help prepare two hotels for the big crowd of people who can’t always hear door knocks, might confuse “pay” with “may”, and maybe have hearing aids that squeal now and again.  They said that Bonnie and Marla’s training was fabulous.  But I knew that.  They are always fabulous unless they are awesome or terrific. I love my job.

Speaking of staff, the HLAA staff and volunteers are doing an amazing job themselves.  My check-in yesterday was a total delight.  Everyone was helpful, pleasant, and organized. 

This must be one of the largest conventions because I can’t remember when I’ve had so many hugs in a day, waved to so many people passing by that I’ve met at previous conventions, and met so many new people. I was thrilled to run into Carole Purdum and her husband last night.  Carole and I were seatmates at last year’s Opening Session in Milwaukee and I had such fun getting to know her.  It’s nice to see many other couples here as well such as  John Waldo and his wife, Wayne Roorda and his wife, former area residents Gerry and Sheila Adams.

I spotted a group of staff from the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at lunch today, how nice this is an in-state conference that they could carpool and afford to attend.  And was happy to see the seemingly indestructible Arva Priola in great health after recent surgery.

But I ramble.  I’m writing too late in the day with a head too full of useful information and a steno pad full of notes from presentations and exhibits to be organized.  They’ll be coming!  I’ve got to take Galaxy for her final walk of the night and then get ready to hit the sack. Tomorrow the note taking starts at 9 am with the Research Symposium, which will probably come to you in at least three separate chunks because it’s three hours long.  Marla, Bonnie and I are taking turns with the three segments.



Cheryl Heppner, Marla Dougherty, Kalen Beck