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There are currently four main pieces of legislation that service providers and employers must consider in order to avoid discrimination against disabled people, including the hearing impaired.
The Disability Discrimination Act (1995)
The Care Standards Act (2002)
Building Regulations (1992)
British Standard B8300:2002
The most far-reaching legislation is the Disability Discrimination Act that affects all organisations offering goods, facilities and services to the general public. It states that they must make all reasonable adjustments to provide deaf or hard of hearing people with full access to their goods or services.
From October 2004 it has been a legal requirement to permanently install induction loops and infra-red systems, in the workplace, where it is impossible or difficult for a deaf or hard of hearing person to make use of a service. Employers must also take steps to ensure that existing and potential employees are not disadvantaged in the workplace, especially when taking part in meetings, etc.
Under the Care Standards Act, care homes must provide certain adaptations and equipment for residents, including communication aids, such as an Induction Loop Systems.
Current building regulations demand that newly erected or substantially reconstructed non-domestic buildings must provide aids for the hearing impaired.
Linking to building regulations is the new code of practice (BS8300: 2002) for the design of new buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people. The standard states where hearing enhancement should be installed.
Hearing enhancement systems must be installed in any facilities likely to be used by the hearing impaired, either as customers, visitors or staff. For example, meeting rooms in excess of 100m2, lecture or entertainment theatres, spectator sports facilities, cultural and scientific buildings, and service or reception counters that are behind glazed screens.
Some examples of service providers covered under the Act are:
Telecommunications and broadcasting organisations
Public utility companies
Leisure centres, stadia, health clubs
Bus and railway stations, airports and travel agents
Shops, hairdressers, post offices, banks and building societies
Hotels, restaurants, cinemas, theatres and pubs
Hospitals, waiting rooms and clinics Solicitors offices, courts, churches and mosques
Allansound Communications offer a wide range of cost-effective Induction Loop Systems to ensure that you remain fully compliant with the legislative requirements. From a simple counter application to a theatre or seminar room, Allansound Communications has a solution that offers high quality sound reinforcement which is easy to install and use.
All induction loop products supplied by Allansound Communications are fully compliant with AFILS standards EN60118-4 (formerly BS6083 and BS7594).
Disclaimer: This information is given as a general guide only. It is not intended to contain definitive legal advice. Professional legal advice should be sought as appropriate in relation to a particular matter.