Raising deaf awareness in business


During Deaf Awareness Week (28 June – 4 July 2010), RNID is urging businesses, shops and services in Cornwall to seize the opportunity to expand their customer base by ensuring they are fully accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

RNID, the largest charity in the UK working on hearing loss, is making the call following its annual membership survey finding that 71% of respondents said they’d be encouraged to use a specific shop or service if the staff are deaf aware. 41% of respondents said they’d go out of their way to use a shop or service if they knew an induction loop, which amplifies speech over background noise for hearing aid users, was available.

RNID’s chief executive, Jackie Ballard, says: “Businesses can make very simple changes to significantly improve the experience of customers who are deaf or hard of hearing and encourage return visits in the future.

“We want shops and services in Cornwall to ensure staff receive deaf awareness training, provide fully operational induction loops and remove unnecessary barriers, such as screens, which can affect communication and deter people with a hearing loss from buying their products or services.”