It’s vital to consider the needs of disabled people when putting social distancing measures in place so that everybody can access your business.
As the largest UK charity supporting people with hearing loss, we’re uniquely placed to provide expert hearing loss help and advice.
Identify the barriers
The government has produced detailed guidance to make workplaces COVID19 secure. However, it’s important to recognise that some recommendations will create additional barriers for staff and customers with hearing loss. These include:
- people working back-to-back rather than facing each other
- physical barriers between workstations
- face masks to help reduce transmissions
- keeping one plus metres apart.
Hearing loss help to make your business accessible
Our Louder than Words products and services are designed to improve accessibility for people with hearing loss. Here are five ways we can help your business overcome or mitigate the additional barriers created by social distancing:
1. Communication support for people who lip read
Someone who lipreads might now benefit from a speech-to-text reporter because of the introduction of face coverings. We can also help with other types of communication support and advice including some apps that will benefit.
2. Deaf awareness training
Our deaf awareness training will highlight the additional barriers created by COVID-19 and help your staff communicate more effectively with people who are deaf or have hearing loss. We will be launching web conference-based deaf awareness training in the next few weeks.
3. Hearing loops to improve speech clarity
Hearing aid users often struggle to follow conversations when there’s background noise. The use of perspex screens is likely to muffle speech even more. A hearing loop will ensure that clear sound goes directly to their hearing aids.
4. Workplace assessments
A workplace assessment will provide practical advice and solutions to help employees with hearing loss work more easily within the COVID-19 secure guidelines. We are now able to provide a remote service for employees with hearing loss who are working all or part of their time from home.
5. Products and equipment
We can suggest assistive products and technology that will help break down social distancing barriers for staff and customers with hearing loss.