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Accessibility for those with Impaired Hearing

Keep background noise to a minimum. For example, consider:

  • providing adequate sound insulation
  • separating quiet and noisy areas
  • avoiding too many hard surfaces

Encourage staff to look directly at the patient and remove their mask when speaking to the patient.

Consider alternative modes of communicating. For example:

  • communicate in writing
  • send text messages or emails regarding appointments
  • use British Sign Language/English interpreters [see RNID or contact your Health Board for further information]
  • use Makaton– a language programme that uses manual signs, graphic symbols and speech

Consider installing an induction loop in the reception area and a surgery (NB: technical advice will be required).

Consider the use of equipment specifically designed for deaf or hard-of-hearing people (e.g. audiovisual light to indicate a door catch has been released, smoke alarms with audiovisual lights), (see the RNID’s support for health and social care professionalsfor further information), (NB: audiovisual lights sometimes give off a lot of heat, therefore, place at an appropriate height to avoid the risk of burns).

Refer to the RNID’s information for health professionals or for free factsheets on communicating with deaf people,including simple ‘communication tips’,  how to learn British Sign Language and deaf and disability awareness trainingfor employers and service providers.