“Hands to Discover” Leads the Way in Accessibility for Travelers

Europe, News, Tourism, August 27 2018

'Hands to Discover' staff posing with hands open, palms facing forward

Portugal’s culture, history, heritage and gastronomy made accessible

PORTUGAL; EUROPE: Offering tailor-made information and on-site services for the hearing-impaired can ensure deaf people access to the universal right to travel with no barriers to accessibility, but one can find such services in few countries. Meanwhile, in Portugal one online platform is leading the way.

Have you wondered what challenges await a hearing-impaired person hoping to visit a foreign country? Lack of information, communication barriers, unprepared professionals, among many other hurdles. But tackling these issues is CTILG – Serviços de Tradução e Interpretação de Língua Gestual, Lda (Sign Language Translation and Interpretation Services), who created the “Hands to Discover” platform.

The platform aims to service the disabled community by providing users with information about the country, scheduling, and choice of points of interest, making communication easier for all, whether deaf or hard-of-hearing, having knowledge of sign language or not. Users also have the option of being accompanied by a certified sign language interpreter.

The platform grants access to national culture, history, heritage, and gastronomy, and is now available in three languages (Portuguese, French, and English).


“Hands to Discover” is a unique project in Portugal and in Europe and is directed exclusively at deaf people (estimated to be around 70 million worldwide) and their families.

Founded in 2005, the company has developed its activity in the area of translation, research, dissemination, and development of materials related with sign language and the deaf community. In 2013, the company was awarded with the Accessibility and Mobility for All Merit Diploma, recognized as one of the 50 best practices in promoting universal accessibility in Portugal.

In the words of Ana Bela Baltazar, managing partner of the company “all people, regardless of age or degree of (dis)ability, should be able to participate in tourist experiences in an egalitarian manner”.

In a nutshell, Hands to Discover works to make travel planning, site information, scheduling visits or choosing points of interest in a “perfectly autonomous and integrated situation like any other citizen traveling the world”, says Ana Bela Baltazar.

CTILG is currently developing partnerships in the areas of hotel management, catering, and tourism in general, and is actively pursuing new partners.

Travelling to Portugal is therefore easier, with the following services:

  • Planning leisure or business travel easily & fast;
  • Information about locations;
  • Scheduling visits;
  • Choosing points of interest;
  • Get a certified sign language interpreter to go with you.


Get to know this unique service in Portugal and in Europe.


In addition to very brief and objective written information, there’s a strong, iconic, and compelling visual component.


Re-posted with permission

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