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Author Archive | Fran Walker

Marks and Spencer turns down the music

M&S is turning  off background music in its stores after ten years, to give its customers a chance to browse in silence.

The new music-free policy will be put into practice over the next few weeks at 300 clothing and home branches across the UK. Food stores were already silent!

The move follows extensive feedback from customers and staff.

Customers want to enjoy restaurants’ taste in food, not music

Turning off the music and up the lights may not seem conducive to creating the right ambience for diners seeking an enjoyable night out. But there are many people – namely the 10 million deaf and hard of hearing – who would welcome this more considerate approach, says ATLA.

As part of Lipreading Awareness Week – 12-19 September 2016 – we will be is asking restaurants to choose a day to invite their customers to ‘come and enjoy their taste in food, not their taste in music’.

In return ATLA will give participating restaurants some basic deaf awareness training for their staff, a poster to display of their local lipreading class and a press release template to send to the local media.

It’s a way that restaurants can show to their community that they are thinking about potential customers’ needs and it could help to generate new business, says ATLA’s vice-chair Molly Berry.

“The silver pound is very important to restaurateurs and Lipreading Awareness Week is a good time to ask yourself if your restaurant is welcoming this business. Getting this right could earn your business a lot of money, with nearly half of people aged 65-plus having some form of hearing loss,” says Molly.

The problem that people with hearing aids have is that their devices amplify sound, including all the background noise, and the sound gets distorted by echo. For this reason ATLA is asking restaurants to reduce this echo or bouncing of sound on hard surfaces by using tablecloths, the wipe clean variety is fine and preferably with under cloths, to cushion the effect.

Longer term, ATLA would like restaurants to introduce more soft furnishings: curtains, cushions and carpet, or where this is impractical, easy to clean rubber flooring. Alcoves, booths and room dividers also help shut out unwanted noise, even if it’s just to head height. And acoustic ceiling tiles, supplied by specialist companies, are effective in making it easier to hear, for customers whether they have a problem or not.

Also, good lighting is important so lipreaders can see the face of the person speaking. And personal loop systems, which enable hearing aid users to hear just what is said within the range of the device, are available for a very reasonable cost. It is worth having one or two hearing loops available for anyone who requests them, says Molly, ensuring customers know they are on site.

“Many hard of hearing people avoid going to restaurants because it’s just too difficult for them to follow conversations and pick out the sounds they want to hear,” says Molly. “But minimum investment can fix this and make a restaurant a much more pleasant environment for everyone to hear each other and hold conversations in, not just the hard of hearing.”

 

ATLA leaflets

The following leaflets are available to download.

  • Lipreading: an aid to communication. Covers: What is lipreading? Will lipreading help me? How easy is lipreading to learn? What can you learn in your lipreading class? Plus 10 tips to help you lipread.
    Download Lipreading: an aid to communication

You will need a PDF reader such as Adobe Acrobat or Foxit to open the files.

What it’s like to lipread

People with no hearing difficulties rarely give any thought to what it would be like to have to rely on lipreading to communicate with others. But a new video makes people stop and think about it.

Many of the 11 million people (according to Action on Hearing Loss) in the UK who have some form of hearing loss depend on lipreading to communicate with family, friends and colleagues.

A powerful video from National Geographic, made by the Little Moving Pictures production company, shows what life can be like for those who use lipreading — and it’s definitely not easy.  But if you attend a lipreading class, you will find help and support!

The video begins with people speaking clearly, as subtitles flash up on the screen. Gradually their words become quieter and the subtitles blurred.

The footage also shows how different situations, such as nightclubs, which pose no problem for those who can hear, make things even harder for lipreaders, .

The video is based on the essay “Seeing at the Speed of Sound” by Rachel Kolb, who also narrates and stars in the piece.

At the end of the video Kolb tells viewers how frustrating lipreading can be.

“There have been times when I’ve questioned why I even try to lipread, to wade through this swamp, when I could just use sign language,” she says. “Some deaf people choose to do just that. It’s like a different world — a world filled with rich expression and culture. When people sign they come alive. But I know I want both worlds.”

Go to Learn to lipread to find a lipreading class near you.

Research about lipreading

There have been some important research reports about the value and provision of lipreading classes recently.

  • On Everybody’s Lips – report of the Scottish Lipreading Strategy Group (2015). A very comprehensive report about lipreading classes in Scotland – but applicable to the whole of the UK.  Download and read the report
  • Not Just Lip Service (2012) Action on Hearing Loss.  Why it’s time to recognise the value of lipreading and managing hearing loss classes. Download and read the report
  • Paying Lip Service (2010) RNID (now Action on Hearing  Loss). Looks at the availability of lipreading classes in different regions of England and Wales, and the threats to their provision. Download and read the report

You will need a PDF reader to read these reports.

Congratulations to new lipreading tutors in Northern Ireland

Eleven new lipreading teachers have just successfully qualified in Northern Ireland.

Their training started in November 2014 and involved trainees from the five Health and Social Care Trusts and Action on Hearing Loss.

The training course was delivered by City Lit, whose three lipreading teacher trainers travelled from London to Northern Ireland to deliver the training.

The Health and Social Care Board provided funding for all eleven places as part of the Physical and Sensory Disability Strategy in Northern Ireland.

Lorraine Braggins, Teacher Co-ordinator says: “All the newly trained teachers should be very proud of what they have achieved. It was a privilege to train such a committed group of people and we are sure they will go on to do valuable work teaching lipreading to deaf and hard of hearing people across Northern Ireland.”

Fight for local lipreading

We believe that everyone with hearing loss should have access to a local lipreading class – and that includes you!

Lipreading is a hugely valuable communication skill for people with all levels of hearing loss, yet there’s a real shortage of classes across much of England.

That’s why, in Lipreading Awareness Week, ATLA and Action on Hearing Loss  launched our new Lipreading Campaign guide to help you convince your local college to provide an affordable lipreading class, if one doesn’t already exist.

Not only do these relaxed classes teach you how to lipread, they also improve your communication skills, introduce you to useful equipment and give you the chance to share experiences with others in similar situations

Follow this link and fill in the short form to download our Lipreading Campaign guide, and you could improve access to lipreading classes for you and your community! (Link will take you to the Action on Hearing Loss website).

ATLA Class ID 106 – North Kensingston Library, 108 Ladbroke Grove, London W11 1PZ

ADDRESS: 
North Kensingston Library, 108 Ladbroke Grove, London W11 1PZ
DAY & TIME:
Monday 12:15 – 14:15
LEVEL:
Mixed
CONTACT/TUTOR:
Fran Walker
TELEPHONE:
020 8962 4141
MOBILE:
Not available
EMAIL:
franwalker53@gmail.com
COST:
See comments
COMMENTS:
£3 per week or free to people on certain benefits. An open age class for people over 50 only. Other contact Emma O’Hara eohara@openage.org.uk

Folkestone Adult Education Centre, The Cube, Tontine Street, Folkestone, Kent CT20 1 SD (ATLA Class IDs 62,63)

ADDRESS:
Folkestone Adult Education Centre, The Cube, Tontine Street, Folkestone, Kent CT20 1SD

ATLA Class ID 62

DAY & TIME:
Tuesday 10:00 – 11:30
LEVEL:
Mixed
CONTACT/TUTOR:
Karen Pitt
TELEPHONE:
01622 691151
MOBILE:
Not available
EMAIL:
d.jones@hikent.org.uk
COST:
On request
COMMENTS:
Contact Debra Jones at HI Kent to register


ATLA Class ID 63

DAY & TIME:
Tuesday 12:30 – 14:00
LEVEL:
Mixed
CONTACT/TUTOR:
Karen Pitt
TELEPHONE:
01622 691151
MOBILE:
Not available
EMAIL:
d.jones@hikent.org.uk
COST:
On request
COMMENTS:
Contact Debra Jones at HI Kent to register


Dover Discovery Centre, Market Square, Dover, Kent CT16 1PH (ATLA Class IDs 60, 61)

ADDRESS:
Dover Discovery Centre, Market Square, Dover, Kent CT16 1PH

ATLA Class ID 60

DAY & TIME:
Wednesday 10.00 – 12.00
LEVEL:
Mixed
CONTACT/TUTOR:
Kent Adult Education
TELEPHONE:
0300 041 2222
MOBILE:
Not available
EMAIL:
kentadulteducation.co.uk
COST:
On request
COMMENTS:
Tutor Pat Tester


ATLA Class ID 61

DAY & TIME:
Wednesday 13:00 – 15:00
LEVEL:
Advanced
CONTACT/TUTOR:
Kent Adult Education
TELEPHONE:
0300 041 2222
MOBILE:
Not available
EMAIL:
kentadulteducation.co.uk
COST:
On request
COMMENTS:
Tutor Pat Tester


St Thomas House, St Thomas Square, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP1 1BA (ATLA Class IDs 247, 248, 553)

ADDRESS:
St Thomas House, St Thomas Square, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP1 1BA

ATLA Class ID 247

DAY & TIME:
Monday 10:00 – 12:00
LEVEL:
Beginners
CONTACT/TUTOR:
Caroline Court
TELEPHONE:
Not available
MOBILE:
07877 468450 Text only
EMAIL:
lipreadingtutor@gmail.com
COST:
On request
COMMENTS:


ATLA Class ID 248

DAY & TIME:
Tuesday 10:00 – 12:00
LEVEL:
Improvers
CONTACT/TUTOR:
Caroline Court
TELEPHONE:
Not available
MOBILE:
07877 468450 Text only.
EMAIL:
lipreadingtutor@gmail.com
COST:
On request
COMMENTS:


ATLA Class ID 553

DAY & TIME:
Monday 09.15 – 10.40
LEVEL:
Fast Track
CONTACT/TUTOR:
Caroline Court
TELEPHONE:
Not available
MOBILE:
07877 468450 Text only.
EMAIL:
lipreadingtutor@gmail.com
COST:
On request
COMMENTS:

Worthing Action for Deafness, 51 Rowlands Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN11 3JN (ATLA Class IDs 242, 243, 502)

ADDRESS:
Worthing Action for Deafness, 51 Rowlands Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN11 3JN

ATLA Class ID 242

DAY & TIME:
Wednesday 10:00 – 12:00
LEVEL:
Mixed
CONTACT/TUTOR:
Cathy Cobbold
TELEPHONE:
01444 415582
MOBILE:
Not available
EMAIL:
cathy@actionfordeafness.org.uk
COST:
On request
COMMENTS:


ATLA Class ID 243

DAY & TIME:
Wednesday 13:30 – 15:30
LEVEL:
Mixed
CONTACT/TUTOR:
Cathy Cobbold
TELEPHONE:
01444 415582
MOBILE:
Not available
EMAIL:
cathy@actionfordeafness.org.uk
COST:
On request
COMMENTS:


ATLA Class ID 502

DAY & TIME:
Wednesday 18:30 – 20:30
LEVEL:
Mixed
CONTACT/TUTOR:
Cathy Cobbold
TELEPHONE:
01444 415582
MOBILE:
Not available
EMAIL:
cathy@actionfordeafness.org.uk
COST:
On request
COMMENTS:

Action for Deafness, 22 Sussex Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 4EA (ATLA Class IDs 240, 430)

ADDRESS
Action for Deafness, 22 Sussex Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 4EA

ATLA Class ID 240

DAY & TIME:
Thursday 10:00 – 12:00
LEVEL:
Mixed
CONTACT/TUTOR:
Action for Deafness
TELEPHONE:
01444 415582
MOBILE:
Not available
EMAIL:
cathy@actionfordeafness.org.uk
COST:
On request
COMMENTS:


ATLA Class ID 430

DAY & TIME:
Tuesday, 10.00 – 12.00
LEVEL:
Mixed
CONTACT/TUTOR:
Action for Deafness
TELEPHONE:
01444 415582
MOBILE:
Not available
EMAIL:
cathy@actionfordeafness.org.uk
COST:
On request
COMMENTS:


Nottinghamshire Deaf Society, 22 Forest Road West, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire NG7 4EQ (ATLA Class IDs 175,177,178)

ADDRESS:
Nottinghamshire Deaf Society, 22 Forest Road West, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire NG7 4EQ

ATLA Class ID 175

DAY & TIME:
Thursday 18:00 – 19:30
LEVEL:
Mixed
CONTACT/TUTOR:
Kathie Price
TELEPHONE:
0115 9786297
MOBILE:
Not available
EMAIL:
kjp@phonecoop.coop
COST:
Free
COMMENTS:


ATLA Class ID 177

DAY & TIME:
Thursday 14.00 – 15.30
LEVEL:
[put the details in here]
CONTACT/TUTOR:
Kathie Price
TELEPHONE:
0115 9786297
MOBILE:
Not available
EMAIL:
kjp@phonecoop.coop
COST:
Free
COMMENTS:


ATLA Class ID 178

DAY & TIME:
Wednesday 10.30 – 12.00
LEVEL:
[put the details in here]
CONTACT/TUTOR:
Kathie Price
TELEPHONE:
0115 9786297
MOBILE:
Not available
EMAIL:
kjp@phonecoop.coop
COST:
Free
COMMENTS: