Protective Screens Risk Denying Vital Services for Hearing Impaired

‘Intelligent use of protective screens needed to ensure inclusivity across all communities’

With the global health crisis continuing to throw daily life into disarray and the associated uncertainty creating an unprecedented level of anxiety, the latest government announcement has paved the way for more workers to return to employment in certain sectors. However, in an attempt to maximise the safety of employees and reduce the risk of a second wave of infections, employers across the UK are hastily installing safety measures which are inadvertently affecting the lives of those with hearing impairments.

By its nature, many of the most significantly impacted individuals with hearing loss are also some of the more vulnerable members of the UK’s communities. Whilst immediate measures to protect staff are a crucial part of a national recovery plan, little thought has been given to the impact of a nation-wide roll out of plastic screens in customer facing environments.

With approximately 12 million people in the UK suffering with hearing loss, a UK leader in specialist audio systems for the hearing impaired has raised concerns over the secondary impact of mass installation of screens at counters and customer service desks everywhere. Fife based, Clear Audio Systems spokesperson Martin McCloskey commented:

“We fully understand and support the critical efforts of business to protect staff and customers, however, the blanket use of plastic screens needs to come with a more intelligent approach. The large plastic barrier screens are a fantastic way to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, but they can also cause huge difficulties for those with hearing impairments.”

Martin McCloskey continued: “There are a number of really effective solutions available which will work in harmony with screens, to ensure those with hearing difficulties can still access vital services during the fight against the virus. It’s more important than ever to look after every member of our communities, right across the country.”

Clear Audio’s speech enhancement technology is designed to improve communication through speaking barriers such as protective screening. The highly effective system consists of a set of speakers and microphones to be installed either side of the protective screen for easy communication. The integral components in the speech enhancements systems have been researched designed and created in house using the experience and industry knowledge developed over 25 years, for a reliable solution, with reduced feedback, quick and easy installation and the very best user experience for the customers and staff.

For more information on the effective hearing solutions available to complement the use of protective screens, please visit the official website at www.clearaudiosystems.com

About Clear Audio Systems:

Clear Audio Systems was established in 1993 by company Chairman Tom McGregor when he identified a need for speech enhancement equipment when visiting a branch of his local bank. The Clear Audio Systems team have been at the forefront of speech enhancement systems and induction loop expertise from the development of the initial technology 25 years ago, to the systems you see in your banks and shops today. Our products are designed and built in the UK, with 25 years’ experience in the speech enhancement systems.

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Navigating the Chaos: 4 Golden Rules for Communicating in a Busy Environment

Being able to communicate effectively when everything around you is seemingly in chaos can be a little frustrating. The temptation is there to start yelling over everyone else just to get your point across, but that could come across as unprofessional and even downright rude.

In order to navigate the hectic environment you find yourself in, here are four golden rules you can use to make the situation easier to handle.

  1. Be Open About your Hearing Loss

It’s not something everyone can see and know that you’ve lost some of your hearing. Being upfront about it will put them on alert so that they can be accommodating to your needs. Inform them as to whether background noises make it difficult for you to hone in conversation or what sounds you have difficulty hearing. Those who are aware of your problem are willing to speak more slowly and clearly to make it easier for you to understand.

There’s also the option to seek out the solution for hearing loss with just a quick trip to your doctor.

  1. Pick the Meeting Place

If you know you’re going to be meeting someone during the day, pick the location, if you have a say. Having some control over the setting means that you’ll be able to plan accordingly as to what the noise levels will be.

For example, if you’re going to be meeting someone for lunch, suggest that you go an hour later so that there will be fewer people and you can hear conversations more clearly.

  1. Arriving Early

Showing up early to the location will give you some time to examine and reflect on the environment. Is sitting by the window the best choice when there’s busy traffic outside? Do you want to sit near the kitchen where dishes and pots are clanging around all day? You’ll have an easier time if you get to decide the best place to sit so that you can hear what everyone is saying.

Better yet, arriving early means that you can give your ears the opportunity to adjust to the environment around you. This is especially useful if you already have a hearing aid, as you can adjust the volume and settings until it’s just right for you.

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

If you’ve missed a part of the conversation, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask. Asking people to repeat themselves may feel demanding and that you’re slowing down the flow of conversation, but if you want to feel involved, then your conversation partners should be willing to consider your needs as well.  Hopefully, your friends won’t take this as an invitation to start yelling, as that would just be embarrassing.

Dealing with hearing loss is an ordeal in and of itself, so there’s no need for you to make things more difficult for yourself by pretending it’s not there. It may make you feel self-conscious, having to be treated differently, but that’s the worst way to look at a situation. Everyone has their handicaps that should be respectively catered to, so don’t feel as if you’re becoming a burden to everyone else.