Improving Accessibility to Buildings for All

Improving Accessibility to Buildings for All

Improving Accessibility to Buildings for All 1400 882 admin

A new series of free breakfast briefings hosted by Rapport for Facilities Managers

On 1 November 2018, we held the first in our new series of free, breakfast briefings in support of our mission to help improve the accessibility and the overall experience of buildings for all – including those people with disabilities.

Presenter and Field Sales Manager of charity Action on Hearing Loss, Gemma Clare, outlined the main obstacles people with hearing loss have when accessing workplaces and how they help all organisations. She also showed us a small and discreet range of modestly priced, mobile hearing loop solutions that work very well and look great and can be incorporated into reception areas and meeting rooms.

Did you know that 1 in 6 people have hearing loss?
This is the biggest disability group in the UK and yet it is invisible to the rest of us, simply because we can’t see it. However, the problem is getting bigger, as a direct result of our lifestyles and because we are living longer, more of us will suffer from hearing loss in the future. It is estimated that it will affect 15.6 million people in the UK by 2035, up from 11 million just three years ago.

84% of those with hearing loss struggle to use everyday services.
Action on Hearing Loss undertakes extensive research every year and has found that the lack of availability of hearing loop systems is a real hindrance, but even when they are installed 8 out of 10 don’t actually work. Also, people with a hearing loss don’t like to draw attention to themselves and so suffer in silence.

After the briefing, Kathy Jackson, Concierge Manager at Gallagher, said that, “this was a really interesting briefing, very well presented and it has opened my eyes to this issue. It has also given me some food for thought on how we can make it easier for everyone with hearing loss to have a better experience within our buildings”.

Jake Castree, Property Manager, Broadgate Estates added, “I was surprised at how low cost, simple and effective the portable hearing loop systems are and what a big difference they make to the incredibly high number of people with hearing loss”.

We asked Gemma Clare, Field Sales Manager of Action on Hearing Loss what the biggest obstacles that people with hearing loss encounter within workplaces. She replied, “there are three main issues, the first is the lack of awareness of the high number of individuals with hearing loss, the second is the low number of hearing loops installed and the third issue is that 80% of installed hearing loops, don’t work”.

Greg Mace, Managing Director of Rapport, says “At Rapport we believe that every guest experience should be unique and if we can’t communicate clearly with a significant percentage of our guests then they will feel excluded, which will result in a bad experience and a negative perception of our clients’ businesses”.

I would urge every company to welcome all people equally and to make each of them feel special because it makes good business sense.

Get in touch if you would like an invitation to the next breakfast briefing.

Find out how Action on Hearing Loss can help your business with services and training

Find out how Action on Hearing Loss can help your business with services and training

Action on Hearing Loss helps organisations to understand the issues and can undertake workplace assessments through their UK network of engineers.

A Workplace Assessment report can be used to apply for a grant from the government’s Access to Work scheme to help employers cover the cost of adjustments.

All profit is ploughed back into research and for providing services.

Visit the Action on Hearing Loss website

Improving Accessibility to Buildings for All