Interestingly enough, about 2 Million people in the UK own Hearing Aids, and at least another 3 Million people have hearing difficulties in everyday life and are likely to benefit from a hearing aid.

That translates into one person in seven of the population who suffer from hearing loss and may find your building problematic to use, if it is not effectively equipped to communicate with people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995 makes it unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of disability when providing services, facilities, goods or employment.  As of the 1st October 1999 Part 3 of the Act will stipulate that it is the duty of a service provider to make reasonable adjustments.  A service provider may have to provide an Auxiliary Aid or Service if it would enable (or make it easier for) disabled people to make use of their goods, facilities or services.

As of 1st October 2004 Where there is a physical feature that makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for a disabled person to make use of a service, service providers will have to take all reasonable steps to remove, alter or avoid it if the service cannot be provided by a reasonable alternative method.

Service providers who fail to make the adequate provision for people with hearing disabilities face prosecution. Further more it is not enough to simply install an induction loop system - it must be properly maintained and staff must know how to use it (DDA, Auxiliary Aids and services 5.13)

BS8300 (2002)

British Standard BS8300 is the new code of practice for the design of new buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people. The standard states that “a hearing enhancement system, using induction loop, infra-red or radio transmission, should be installed in rooms and spaces used for meetings, lectures, classes, performances, spectator sports or films, and used at service and reception counters where the background noise level is high or where glazed screens are used”. It pinpoints the following areas for consideration: seated waiting areas; ticket sales and information points; fitness suits and exercise studios; churches; crematoria and cemetery chapels, educational, cultural and scientific buildings.

It is also a requirement under the Building Regulations 1991 to provide Access and Facilities for Disabled people, particularly "Aids to Communication", and as such Deaf & Hard of Hearing People could be denied access to your building.

The links below will take you to the various Acts, Regulations and Standards laid down by the DDA.

For further information on the DDA please click.

For further information on Building Regulations 1991 please click.

For further information on the Care Standards Act 2000 please click.

For the Links Page please click.