Well, what a day it was!
The launch of the Hearing Access Protocol took place on Thursday, 2nd August, and the event was filled with warmth, enthusiasm and support.
The launch took place in Volunteer Scotland’s CommUnity Bubble Tent at the Go Live Festival in Glasgow, a venue that reflected the community-led nature of the Hearing Access Protocol. The CommUnity Bubble Tent is a dedicated space for discussions about community and a space where all voices are equal.
We had contributions from people with hearing loss, people representing the commercial, public and third sectors, and also the deafness, disability, health & social care, community and event management management sectors. In addition, there was representation from the Scottish Parliament and academic sector. See images from the day.
The mix of voices was diverse, honest and experienced. It resulted in strong discussion and, more importantly, some commitments for practical action to help progress things. See action points.
The venue was quite literally a tent so hearing access was managed with a PA system, hearing loop, speech to text transcription (via a professional Electronic Notetaker), and BSL/English intepretation.
The Hearing Access Protocol is a community-led initiative. It has been developed by people with hearing loss for people with hearing loss.
It was shared openly across the hearing and deafness sector at an early stage in its development and the feedback received at that point was hugely influential in shaping it into its current form.
The Hearing Access Protocol is a working document that will evolve, expand and develop through time and with feedback from users. The next review will take place at end of October. If you have comments or suggestions, please submit them to us by 28 October.
Making access the norm
The tone of the Hearing Access Protocol is mainstream. It aspires to be relevant to relevant to everyone, including those with good hearing.
The objective is to help individuals and organisations develop habits and behaviours that result in meetings and events naturally becoming more accessible and inclusive.
We want good practice to become the norm, something that is done automatically by rote, not something that is considered only if an individual identifying as ‘deaf’ walks through the door.
Please can you help?
The Hearing Access Protocol has the potential to transform the experiences that people with hearing loss have when they attend meetings and events. For this to happen, people need to know about it and need to use it.
- When attending meetings/events, please ask the organiser if the Hearing Access Protocol will be followed? This will prompt them to find out about it and employ the good practice it contains.
- If you are the organiser, please familiarise yourself with the Hearing Access Protocol. If you need more assistance, book in for webinar or workshop support.
- If you regularly attend meetings or events run by a local organisation, please request that a Hearing Experiences Audit be undertaken for that meeting/event. This will identify the variation in hearing experiences among attendees and will help people understand why the Hearing Access Protocol is so important.