Pubs asked to turn down the music for deaf customers

The Association of Teachers of Lipreading to Adults (ATLA) said although this approach may not seem conducive to creating the right ambience for diners on a night out, it could help reinforce pubs’ community credentials and generate new business.

As part of Lipreading Awareness Week, taking place on 12-19 September, the association is asking licensees to choose a day to invite customers to ‘come and enjoy their taste in food, not their taste in music’.

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

Awareness

ATLA’s vice-chair Molly Berry said: “Lipreading Awareness Week is a good time to ask yourself if your pub is welcoming this business. Getting it right could earn your business a lot of money, with nearly half of people aged 65-plus having some form of hearing loss.”

The problem people with hearing aids have is that their devices amplify sound, including background noise, which gets distorted by echo. The ATLA would like pubs and restaurants to introduce more soft furnishings: curtains, cushions and carpet or easy-to-clean rubber flooring. Alcoves, booths and room dividers can also help, and acoustic ceiling tiles are effective in making it easier to hear.

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