During Deaf Awareness Week (28 June – 4 July 2010), RNID is urging travel agents and tour operators to seize the opportunity to expand their customer base by ensuring they are fully accessible to the 9 million people in the UK who are deaf or hard of hearing.
RNID, the largest charity in the UK working on hearing loss, is making the call following its annual membership survey finding that 71% of respondents said they’d be encouraged to use a specific shop or service if the staff are deaf aware. 41% of respondents said they’d go out of their way to use a shop or service if they knew an induction loop, which amplifies speech over background noise for hearing aid users, was available.
RNID’s chief executive, Jackie Ballard, says: “Businesses within the travel sector can make very simple changes to significantly improve the experience of customers who are deaf or hard of hearing and encourage return visits in the future. We want travel agents and tour operators throughout the UK to ensure staff receive deaf awareness training, provide fully operational induction loops and remove unnecessary barriers, such as screens, which can affect communication and deter people with a hearing loss from booking travel with them.”