In my current role I am responsible for ensuring that public places are adhering to the 2010 Equality Act by ensuring that reasonable adjustments are made for individuals whom have a hearing impairment. Please be assured that this is something I feel extremely passionate about. I would really like to understand from people such as yourselves living with a hearing impairment what is missing? Which venues etc are you visiting and finding that appropriate equipment is not provided? Are you able to go to the cinema and watch a film? Is your local Pharmacy providing the relevant equipment?
I would like to thank you in advance for your support on this and please be assured that I really want to make a difference.
I have regular appointments at the local hospital. At the main reception they have a loop tcoil sign, but the loop is never switched on. When I tell the receptionist the loop is not working they say every single time, well you have to tell us to switch it on!
I believe some loops need to spend a couple of hours charging, so when they do switch it on it still doe s not work.
This also happened for an ESA work assessment interview. The loop was not working. No alternative was offered, and they said if I cancelled then my claim would be stopped!
A lot have the 'loop' sign but no loop or people aware if it is on or off. BOOTS had a poster saying not only have loops but, BSL access too, it was challenged when a deaf sign user asked for BSL and it was revealed they didn't actually have such a service, they said they had some staff who had attended a sign 'taster' class that's all, but, had left their employment, so that access was rather short but sweet too. The government insists we approach chemists with such access to address low-level enquiries on health (But not a diagnosis, as that is illegal for chemists to do without training), but they don't have it either. SO loop access is for the few really, and most HoH do NOT ask for it to be switched on either!
What is really missing is not so much the facilities themselves but the means of checking up on them and getting the faulty ones working again. There are quite a number of loops around these days but in many cases they are not working. The operators have no way of telling whether the loop is actually transmitting because you need someone with a hearing aid to listen to it. Loop systems do not come supplied with testing equipment to save money.What usually happens is some deaf person comes along and finds that the loop (which has probably been running for years) is not working or the sound is unintelligible. They report this to the person in charge and a typical response is "Well the red light is on..."It's not that we lack equipment, most public places have loops and other systems in place but there's no way of testing them and no way of ensuring that they are working at all times.