Fringe closed to hearing-aid users

A survey by RNID Scotland found that only a fifth of venues in the Edinburgh Fringe provided induction loops for audiences.

RNID Scotland found only a fifth of venues surveyed provided induction loops for audiences. The equipment, which amplifies speech over background noise, is essential to help hearing-aid users access information about the shows and fully enjoy the performances. The charity is now calling on the Edinburgh Fringe organisers to improve provision for deaf and hard-of-hearing people before next year’s events.

Director of RNID Scotland, Delia Henry, said: “The Edinburgh Festival is a wonderful event that should be enjoyed by as many people as possible. We think that the organisers and festival customers will be disappointed to learn that there are barriers to accessing shows because induction loops are not available at the box offices and at 76% of the venues we surveyed.

“We’re hoping to work with organisers and individual venues to make sure that hearing aid users have a better experience next year.”

Part 3 of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995 requires service providers to make “reasonable adjustments” to allow disabled people to access a service. It means that shows who do not provide facilities for those who are deaf could leave themselves open to legal action.

Posted on Absolvitor: Scots Law Online.

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