The current safety precautions of wearing face masks, now compulsory on public transport in England, and the use of safety screens may be a welcome sight and sound advice for many. For those with hearing problems this can come with unseen issues.
Covering the face reduces the ability to communicate and disadvantages those with loss of hearing; muffling speech, preventing lip reading, obscuring facial expressions, and forcing conversations to happen at a distance. Whilst safety screens can act as a sound barrier.
To help raise awareness of the increased communication challenges, Hidden Hearing is distributing a free ‘Please Speak Up’ badge to members of the public so they can be better understood, a set of tips to aid communication and have a series of videos with some simple sign gestures everyone can use.
The aim is to help individuals and businesses with staff in public facing roles to help better understand and support those who may be having increased difficulty during these times.