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Listen to needs of people with hearing loss

Post on 25th May 2017

Socialising and dining out with friends and family should be fun and add to our sense of well being, but sadly that’s not always the case for those with hearing loss.

Venues with loud background music, interiors with hard surfaces where sound bounces around and a lack of quieter, more intimate spaces, can be a real turn-off and turn what should be an uplifting experience into an isolating one.

We applaud the Royal National Institute for the Deaf’s ‘Speak Easy’ campaign which has highlighted the issue and is calling on restaurants, cafes and pubs to reduce background noise.

The charity believes it will be good for business if the customer experience is improved and people are more likely to return. It has published a guide with a number of practical adaptations venues can make to manage background noise.

The fashion for sleek interiors with a prominent use of hard surfaces and high ceilings and fewer furnishings that absorb sound has not helped matters. The noise of customers and staff is heightened and when background music is added to the mix it can make conversations difficult.

A Royal National Institute for the Deaf survey found 77% of people believed venues had become noisier in the past five years and 79% had left an establishment early because it was too noisy. Nine out of ten said background noise was the biggest problem they faced when eating out.

It is to be hoped that restaurants, cafes and pubs will take heed and make changes.

If you are finding it difficult to catch conversations or have concerns about your hearing, you can seek help and advice at your local Scrivens branch.