A campaign that is calling for UK retailers to create additional accessibility for people who are deaf or have hearing loss, has gained the support of Lothian MSP Jeremy Balfour
While the use of face coverings has been deemed a necessity in the fight to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, it has created additional barriers for those in the UK with hearing loss, who may rely on lip-reading.
UK charity, Action on Hearing Loss created the Access for All in Retail campaign to address the challenges faced by the 12 million people in the UK with hearing difficulties while shopping, reports The Edinburgh Reporter.
The campaign has sent an open letter to the UK’s leading retailers asking them to help create solutions to the barriers caused by face coverings, such as reducing background noise, the use of hearing loops, and provide staff with training on deaf awareness.
The letter was co-signed by Mr Balfour, who is the convenor of the Cross-Part Group on Disability. He said: “For people who are deaf or have hearing loss, trips to supermarkets or retail stores can already be a challenging and frustrating experience due to issues such as loud music or a lack of hearing loops.”
He explained that the compulsory use of face masks in shops has significantly increased the barriers faced by deaf people and that retailers must raise awareness amongst their staff and make appropriate changes.
Concluding, he encouraged everyone to sign the open letter from Action on Hearing Loss.
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