Welcome to our blog, a round-up of the latest news, advice and information to help make your business more accessible to people who are deaf or have hearing loss.

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Advice & information

The Disability Confident scheme explained

Disability Confident is a government scheme that helps employers attract, recruit and retain disabled staff. It provides advice and information to help organisations think differently about disability and how to make the workplace more accessible. The Disability Confident scheme has replaced the previous Guaranteed Interview scheme and Two Ticks scheme. Benefits for businesses The Disability Confident scheme can help employers: tap into a wider pool of talent to meet their workforce needs recruit and retain high-quality staff reduce staff turnover, saving...
Communication support

Sign language help for healthcare appointments

The need for sign language help for medical appointments has increased during the coronavirus pandemic. The widespread use of PPE and face coverings is making communication and lip-reading difficult in healthcare settings. Deaf people are feeling increasingly frustrated and isolated. Many of the 87,000 Deaf people across the UK who use British Sign Language (BSL) as their first or preferred language, have encountered problems accessing healthcare at some point. When a BSL interpreter has been unavailable, they’ve had to rely...
Case studies

Carol overjoyed after remote workplace assessment

We were recently contacted by The Riverside Group, a leading provider of social housing in the UK, to arrange a workplace assessment for one of their employees. Carol Baker has hearing loss and was finding it increasingly difficult to talk on the phone and join in conversations. We arranged for Chris, one of our assessors, to carry out a remote workplace assessment via video call. During the remote assessment, Chris talked to Carol about her job role, day-to-day activities, working...
Hearing loops

COVID-19 has fuelled the need for hearing aid loop systems

There has never been a greater need for hearing aid loop systems, as safety measures introduced to stop the spread of COVID-19 are having negative consequences for people with deafness and hearing loss. Safety measures create communication barriers Face coverings, social distancing and plastic screens are creating additional communication barriers: Face coverings prevent people from lipreading and hide facial expressions from those who use British Sign Language (BSL). Social distancing makes hearing and understanding speech more difficult. As distance increases, sound...
Workplace assessments

What are reasonable adjustments in the workplace for employees with hearing loss?

Under the Equality Act 2010 (or the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 in Northern Ireland) employers are required to make reasonable adjustments for existing staff and prospective employees who are deaf or have hearing loss. This is so they’re not put at a substantial disadvantage compared with hearing people. Often simple and inexpensive Many reasonable adjustments are simple and inexpensive for employers to implement, including improving the working environment or giving time off for audiology appointments. The government’s Access to Work scheme...
British Sign Language (BSL) training

Sign language courses: top 10 questions

Do you want to improve inclusivity and offer first-class customer service to everyone? Our British Sign Language (BSL) courses will open up your business to the Deaf community. Here’s a roundup of our frequently asked questions: 1. What is British Sign Language (BSL)? BSL is a language used by Deaf people in the UK to communicate using hand movements, facial expressions and body language. It’s a totally different language to English. 2. What are the benefits of learning BSL? Businesses with staff trained...
Hearing loops

Loop systems for the deaf – the dos and don’ts

Organisations without hearing loop systems for the deaf, could be excluding one in six potential customers. As well as making business sense, being accessible to the 12 million people with some form of hearing loss is also a legal requirement under the Equality Act 2010 and Disability Discrimination Act in Northern Ireland. When installed correctly, hearing loop technology will open up your business to hearing aid users. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential pitfalls. Here’s what to...
Deaf awareness training

Online deaf awareness training benefits

Businesses lose £2 billion in revenue each month by ignoring the needs of people who are deaf or have hearing loss. Our online deaf awareness training will help your staff understand how to communicate more easily with customers and colleagues with hearing loss. Improving accessibility for the 12 million people in the UK with hearing loss makes business sense. Not only will it enhance customer service, it will also boost staff morale and productivity. But giving your staff face-to-face deaf...
Communication support

Speech-to-text reporters: top 10 questions

If you’re arranging communication support for someone who is deaf or has hearing loss, always check what their preferred type of support is first. If they require a speech-to-text reporter, here’s all you need to know when making a booking. 1. What is a speech-to-text reporter? A speech-to-text reporter (STTR) – sometimes called a stenographer or palantypist – provides communication support to people who are deaf or have hearing loss. The STTR uses a special keyboard to type each word that’s...
Communication support

Booking a lipspeaker: top 10 questions

Have you been asked about booking a lipspeaker but you’re unsure what to do next? Here’s a roundup of our frequently asked questions so you can book with confidence: 1. What is a lipspeaker? A lipspeaker is a hearing person who relays speech to someone who is deaf or has hearing loss using lip shapes, natural gestures and facial expressions but no voice. They repeat the words as the speaker says them without adding their own personal comments or views. 2. What...
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