HEARING aid users can ‘locate a loop’ on a new interactive map that details venues offering assistive listening technology.
The new Let’s Hear website allows users to log in and register shops, banks, businesses, theatres and public buildings that have a hearing loop. They can also rate how well it works and comment on the support offered by staff.
Andrew Thomas, chair of the International Hearing Loop Manufacturers Association, said: “Let’s Hear is a fantastic tool for people with hearing loss to share information and let each other know where they can get the best service.
“Being able to hear clearly is a basic right everyone should be able to enjoy when they go shopping or out for entertainment. This website will help people find the venues that best meet their needs so they can decide where to spend their money.”
Let’s Hear also allows businesses themselves to highlight hearing loop provision and any training staff have undertaken.
Once information has been uploaded, users will be able to search for loops via the map and postcode search.
Hearing loops amplify the sound users want to hear, cutting out distracting background noise. They are commonly used at till points, customer service desks, reception areas and in larger venues like theatres to enable audience members to hear the dialogue.
Mr Thomas added: “With the advent of Covid-19, hearing loops have become even more important as people struggle to hear staff through protective screens and their ability to lip-read is compromised by face masks.
“Loops can be simply installed and offer a discreet but incredibly effective aid to communication for many of the 12 million people in the UK living with hearing loss.”
TED POTTAGE has profound hearing loss and wears two hearing aids. He says he is loyal to businesses that offer hearing loops because without them, shopping is too challenging.
“The big supermarkets have hearing loops but they don’t have them on every till. It can be very frustrating when you’ve unloaded all your shopping to find that because the signage is missing or hidden, it’s the till next to you that has the loop.
“It is great that I can share this information with other people to save them the time and frustration of not being able to hear.”