Deaf Travel section on SL FIRST Magazine
Seable is a unique holiday company, specialising in the provision of accessible sport and leisure activity holidays for those with limited mobility, the visually impaired and deaf holidaymakers.
The inspiration for Seable came from the LIFE (Life Improvement for Everyone) charity and the lack of financial support it was receiving. LIFE is a charity that runs a scuba diving program for people with disabilities, which the owner started when a close friend became paraplegic. It started as a rehabilitation scheme and grew to a leisure offer for people with different disabilities. Seable was created to improve people’s lives and use LIFE’s services as an outlet for one of the vacation activities. Since its inception two years ago, Seable has grown in popularity with people enjoying activities that have previously been mostly closed to them, including the achievement of world records in scuba diving.
Seable Holidays is already an award winning Social Enterprise. Based in London, Seable is not just another travel company for disabled travelers, it distinguishes itself by providing tailored holiday packages that involve activities and experiences that can help wheelchair, blind and deaf people build on their intellectual, emotional, physical, and spiritual needs. Some of the activities that our visitors can enjoy include scuba diving in the Mediterranean Sea, fishing, 4×4 driving experience on Europe’s highest active volcano Mount Etna, gastronomic delights like wine tastings, olive and wine making, and so much more. Seable cater for individuals, couples, families and groups. The destination for Seable’s holidays is Sicily, the largest island of the Mediterranean Sea.
Seable’s active holiday packages include full day trips to Mount Etna, Catania, Siracusa, Vendicari, Anapo, Pantalica, Taormina, and The Alcantara Gorges. To add more to the whole experience, Seable includes gastronomic delights to indulge in pure Mediterranean delicacies, including award winning organic extra virgin olive oil and most amazingly, you get to indulge in some priceless wine tastings from Sicily’s internationally acclaimed vineyards.
In 2013 Seable put together a tailored holiday package for a deaf visitor and his partner. They had been searching for scuba diving for deaf people and stumbled upon a picture on the Seable blog of a deaf interpreter being used during a diving lesson. Proud of our achievement in designing tailored packages for disabled and blind visitors, we had not yet fully developed our offer to deaf people. However, we took the approach as a challenge and since the charity LIFE were already offering scuba courses for deaf students in Sicily, we felt confident to extend the offer to all sensory impaired clients. The request was made for a 10 day holiday that included the scuba course, the Mount Etna excursion and visits to the natural park of “Pantalica” and a cultural excursion of “Catania”. We provide transport with a driver and 4* accommodation in every package. In addition, they requested a BSL interpreter for the Scuba course only as the deaf person could lip-read well. When looking for a BSL interpreter we decided to place an advert for a voluntary position in exchange for a holiday!
This was the only way to avoid increasing the cost of the holiday and the advert has been very popular with over 40 interpreters applying for it. After exchanging numerous emails and to make sure that everything was clear before the booking, we arranged a meeting with the client and the BSL interpreter. The meeting went very well and we were able to reassure our deaf client that the course was tailored for him. The interpreter also decided to take the course as she was preparing the theory for the client and this actually put the group closer together in more of a shared experience.
The holiday went amazingly well, the course was fun and exciting and every one passed the test, resulting in a PADI license that will now allow them to dive everywhere they want without limitations. After their return in the UK we sent out a little bottle of home made Olive oil as a souvenir of the holiday and they sent us some nice feedback: “I am sorry for not replying sooner. I have mentioned the diving experience with Seable to my deaf friends through Facebook. My friends and deaf people I know think of scuba diving with horror and wouldn’t dream of doing it and have said that I was brave to do it! I am proud to achieve the diving qualification and combining it with a holiday experience in Sicily made it an unforgettable experience. Many thanks for all you have done for organising such an amazing experience and for Carmelo for his patience teaching us.”
If you are interested in an activity holiday that is tailored for deaf people, please get in touch via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find out more about Seable Holidays at www.seable.co.uk[Tweet “@SeableHolidays provide tailored activity breaks on the wonderful island of Sicily #accessibleholidays http://slfirst.co.uk/deaf-lifestyle/deaf-travel/tailored-holidays-for-deaf-visitors-at-seable”]