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How to make your venue more accessible

If you run an in-person business, like a shop, restaurant or gym, we have some ways you can make your site accessible to people who are deaf or have hearing loss.  

Room design  

Loud environments can make it much harder for people with hearing loss to hear what’s being said to them.  

You can help reduce noise by: 

  • keeping background music at low levels 
  • having carpets 
  • using wall panels 
  • using baffle boards 
  • having soft furnishings. 

Setting up designated quiet spaces can also improve people’s experience of using your service.  

Some people with hearing loss rely on lip reading to communicate and need to be able to see people’s faces. You can help by making sure rooms are well lit and avoiding glare on any transparent screens.  

You can increase accessibility for hearing aid users by installing hearing loops.  

Accessible information  

Deaf people may not be able to clearly hear audio instructions over loudspeakers. 

You can make information more accessible by providing it in plain English on visible screens or displays.  

Providing information in British Sign Language (BSL) improves accessibility for BSL users, either through videos on screens or digital resources.  

Make sure your emergency measures are accessible for deaf people by having a clear and visible evacuation plan.  

Make sure fire marshals are deaf aware and install accessible smoke alarm systems

Deaf awareness  

You can increase your staff’s confidence in communicating with deaf people and people with hearing loss by giving them deaf awareness training. This will also help them understand the barriers that deaf people face. 

You can give your staff basic BSL training sessions to help them communicate with people who use BSL as their first or preferred language. 

Contact methods  

It is important to have many contact methods so people can contact you about your service.  

Text-based options, including email, instant messaging, or a video relay service like Relay UK, are more accessible for people with hearing loss. 

Deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users may prefer to contact you in BSL through video relay services (VRS) or video remote interpreting (VRI).   

Contact us

If you would like to find out more about how you can make your business more accessible for people with hearing loss and people who are deaf, we’d love to chat about how RNID can help.
Contact us

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Page last updated: 24 May 2023

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