This is a great guide to UK businesses detailing the £80 billion per annum value that the 20% disabled people population of the UK represents, and how to access it. Giving advice on just what is meant by ‘making a reasonable adjustment’ for a small or medium sized business.
Included are sections on:
- The opportunity for businesses
- Disability statistics & demographics
- The law & what constitutes a reasonable adjustment
- A guide to doing business with disabled people
- Successful business case studies
Unfortunately, it’s rather light on details when it comes to providing access for deaf and hard of hearing people. So it’s worth noting that around 16% of the UK population have some form of hearing impairment. In fact, the majority of people who wear a hearing aid don’t register themselves as disabled; and therefore won’t appear in these statistics.
A good quick guide to what makes a business attractive and what constitutes a reasonable adjustment to existing services for hard of hearing people include the following:
- Training staff to communicate properly with deaf and hard of hearing people in a polite manner (not turning away whilst speaking and not shouting etc.)
- If you have a service desk or pay-point in a busy area, or an area subject to background noise, fit a simple counter hearing loop.
- If your service has an audio element, such as a TV in a waiting room, install an assistive listening system such as a small area induction loop, Infra-Red or FM system and ensure that subtitles are switched on when available.
- If your service involves one person communicating with many in a fixed environment (a room with a stage for example) ensure that the speaker’s voice is captured by microphone and an assistive Listening system is fitted. Such appropriate systems include room hearing loops, Infra-Red or FM systems.
- If your service involves the playback of recorded media with audio, such as a film, provide a good assistive listening system such as a professional quality hearing loop, Infra-Red or FM system as well as a suitable captioning device.
The government guide can be downloaded for free here