12 easy ways to better serve deaf
IN response to a recent incident when a deaf person with
an assistance dog was asked to leave a restaurant, national charity Action on
Hearing Loss is calling on all businesses to make their staff better aware of
how to communicate with their deaf customers.
James Rowe, Action on Hearing Loss Executive Director, Commercial Services
explained:- "While we still get reports of bad customer service
experienced by people with hearing loss, most frequently this is due to the lack
of knowledge on be½ of the staff rather than the desire to discriminate.
Good customer service is the defining factor of any good business. People living
with deafness and hearing loss are valuable customers and deserve the same level
of attention as their hearing peers. By following these simple tips and by
better understanding of their communication needs, businesses can make a big
difference to the quality of services they provide to deaf customers."
Action on Hearing Loss customer service tips when
interacting with people who are deaf or have hearing loss:-
► Don't panic; this will make both you and your customer uncomfortable.
► Let the customer take the lead in how they communicate; some will
lipread and sign, while others will prefer to talk or write.
► As a rule, have a pen and paper nearby at all times to avoid having to look for
them. Don't be afraid to use them!
► In a restaurant environment, train your
staff in some simple signs and encourage them to take the time to write notes
and pass them back and 4th to the
customer; that will help to find out about any allergies.
► Always face the person you are speaking to and make sure you have their
attention before you start speaking.
► Keep your distance; Stand a metre or 2 away from the deaf person. This is
important for hearing aid users, lipreaders and signers.
► Think about your surroundings; good lighting and quiet background music
make conversations easier.
► Keep your voice at a steady volume; shouting can be uncomfortable for
hearing aid users, and may come across as aggressive.
► Consider assistance dogs; these dogs are doing a service and should
never be refused entry or stroked without permission.
Always remember to talk directly to the person you are communicating with, not
► Don't be afraid to check whether the person understands what you are saying and,
if not, try saying it in a different way.
► Instead of phoning, use text, email, instant messaging or Facebook to contact
Action on Hearing Loss runs courses in Deaf and Disability training, which help
business to understand more about Deaf accessibility and the importance of
assistance dogs. To find out more call:- 0333 240 5658 or send an
Students going mobile as they leave TV
NEW research from TV Licensing shows students are
increasingly watching mobile devices rather than on a TV. Just 37% say they
watch live TV on a TV set once they've arrived at University, in a survey of new
students carried out by TV Licensing. In contrast, of those who watch live TV,
84% say they watched live on a TV set before moving to Halls of Residence.
A change to the law in September 2016 means students are now more likely to need a
TV Licence to watch on mobile devices. A licence is needed for watching and
recording live television, and since September 2016, watching or downloading BBC
programmes on iPlayer. This applies to laptops, mobiles or any other equipment.
Matthew Thompson, spokesperson for TV Licensing, said:- "Students are
increasingly streaming, downloading, recording, using catch up services and
watching live TV on mobile devices. To help Undergraduates decide if they need a
licence, we encourage them to view advice at:-
before the big move".
34% of those who watch live TV, choose to watch live TV via a laptop as their
main device, up from just 7% before they left for university, indicating a
switch to more portable ways of viewing. 48% of students own a TV but only 23%
of those choose to bring their set to university, a fall from 35% just 2 years
ago. By contrast, 89% bring a smartphone with them, 86% a laptop and 36% a
Research also shows young people are more clued up than their older counterparts
as to when they need a TV Licence. When compared to the general population as a
whole, more students were aware of the iPlayer law change than the general
public when asked in the weeks following the law change.
Currently, 72% of students are aware of the law change and know a licence is
needed to watch catch-up or on-demand TV via BBC iPlayer, using any device.This
may be as a result of parental intervention, as growing numbers of parents are
mentioning the need to have a TV Licence whilst at university. 3 in 5 parents
discuss the TV Licence with their children, indicating parents and guardians are
keen to ensure their offspring stay within the law whilst enjoying TV away from
Generally speaking, students won't be covered by a communal TV Licence or their
More information can be found about TV Licensing
by speaking to an adviser over the phone on:- 0300 790 6113.