I wonder if anyone can advise, please?
I'm a member of the WI held in our village hall and am really struggling, mainly because the hall is fitted with a hearing loop but the organisers are unwilling to use it despite being asked nearly every month. I've been told "they don't know how" so contacted the hall manager, who informed me that they've actually been offered the (very simple) training on countless occasions but never responded to the offer. At the last meeting I even volunteered to attend the quick training myself on the WI's behalf, but was brushed off with "Ooooooo no, we don't need THAT"
I now feel I'm being forced to "beg" them to help me access the group and wondered if anyone knows whether they're under any kind of obligation re disability or if such groups are exempt? It's sadly clear I'll probably have to leave as they make it clear they consider me a nuisance for asking, but it's not even just about myself any more ... being an older group several ladies are in the same position, but tell me they "daren't make a fuss" :-(
I'd really appreciate it anyone has expertise around this kind of thing ... ?
Good morning LindaMitchell4
Welcome to the forums, my name is Ashleigh and I work here on the Information Line at Action on Hearing Loss
The provision of loops is not compulsory under the Equality Act 2010, but depending on the situation provision may be considered a reasonable adjustment that services must make to make their services accessible. Whether or not a loop can be considered as a reasonable adjustment under law will depend entirely on the individual legal case.
If an individual felt that they were being put at a substantial disadvantage compared to non-disabled people due to a lack of a loop system or a working loop system, the service would more than likely be deemed as failing to meet its duty under the Equality Act.
If a public service is not willing to install or maintain a loop as they do not see it as a reasonable adjustment, the consumer would need to contact a legal team to discuss disability discrimination.
Unfortunately we do not have an advocacy team so cannot take on individual cases or provide legal advice. We would encourage you to contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service who will be able to advise you further on your rights under the act.
Freephone Telephone 0808 800 0082
Text phone 0808 800 0084
Freepost address: FREEPOST EQUALITY ADVISORY SUPPORT SERVICE FPN4431