People who can’t hear well at meetings tend to avoid them. This means their voices are left out of focus groups and community consultations. Consequently, hearing issues are not heard or catered for (excuse pun). It also means they don’t go to group events at restaurants or even family gatherings because it gets frustrating and also tiring when trying to concentrate on listening all the time. Ideas for Ears in the UK is actively advocating for people with hearing loss and has developed the Hearing Access Protocol for meetings and events. it provides guidance on how to run meetings and events so people with any hearing ability can hear and follow them. The Protocol was developed by people with hearing loss. You can download the PDF version of the Protocol. People with hearing loss should be able to participate in civic events and activities on the same basis as others.
Who would think that deafness and ramps are connected? When people are signing to communicate, it’s easier and more fluent if they don’t have to climb a flight of steps and watch where their feet are going.
This four minute video shows how basic design features both inside and outside buildings include people who use signing to communicate. The features shown are universal because they are good for everyone.