Retailers

Hearing Dogs highlights access issues for deaf people

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, the charity that provides life-changing services to deaf people, is launching Who lets the dogs in?, a nationwide campaign targeting the retail, hospitality and leisure industries, to encourage businesses to welcome registered assistance dogs accompanied by their disabled owner onto their premises.

Hearing Dogs not only provide practical help, but they also free their deaf person from the isolation, loneliness and anxiety caused by hearing loss. A recently released survey revealed that over 80 per cent of deaf people with hearing dogs have been refused access, often due to a lack of knowledge and understanding. The charity aims to educate and inform about access for hearing dogs and all assistance dogs.

The campaign launches following a report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, issued to help businesses understand what they can do to comply with their legal duties under the Equality Act 2010.

Supporters will be asked to add their name to an online pledge page to provide unhindered access to hearing dogs and assistance dogs at www.hearingdogs.org.uk/wholetsthedogsin, to ensure all employees are educated about the Equality Act and to display window stickers to generate further awareness and let the assistance dogs in!

Michele Jennings, chief executive of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People comments, “Hundreds of deaf people in the UK rely on their hearing dog to help them every single day. A hearing dog not only carries out a wide range of practical tasks, but also increases their deaf person’s independence and confidence tremendously. When businesses deny hearing dogs access to their premises, it’s really upsetting as the deaf person can often find it very difficult to argue their case.”

The Equality Act of 2010 states that service providers must not treat people with disabilities less favourably because of their disability, or because they have an assistance dog such as a hearing dog, a guide dog or another assistance dog with them.

The charity is targeting potential pledgers throughout August and also encouraging those in the retail, hospitality and leisure industries to get involved with ‘Dogtember’ to raise vital funds for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, either by displaying a collection box, donating a percentage of profits for the month or organising a charity event throughout September.   

To find out more go to www.hearingdogs.org.uk/wholetsthedogsin  

 

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