Outta Sight Travel's Jackie Hull and her husband, Gary Metzler, work as a team. Metzler is blind and uses a guide dog, while Hull is sighted but, as she puts it, has “some hidden disabilities.” Together, the Port St. Lucie, Fla. — based couple travel extensively to promote tourism for people who use service animals.
“Not only do we gather information on a first-hand basis, we share this knowledge with the travel provider and the traveler,” she says. “This has been a perfect opportunity for us. We have experienced many different aspects of travel and visited many wonderful places.”
Hull recalls the time the couple was invited to the inaugural festivities of Holland America's ms Zuiderdam. Holland America, she says, is very attuned to the needs of people with different abilities. “We marveled that there was Braille signage everywhere,” she says. But as they explored the ship, Metzler came across a number of signs where the Braille was upside down, which he immediately brought to the attention of the executive team members who were present.
Several months later, the couple again had the opportunity to do a site inspection on the Zuiderdam. Once again, they found the same problematic signs and mentioned it to their sales rep, who in turn mentioned it to the cruise line — who in turn hired Metzler to proof all their signage.
“Now, Gary is known for working his fingers to the bone every time we go on one of their cruises,” Hull says with a chuckle.