The findings also show that the difficulties experienced are ordinary in their nature and can, in many instances, be fixed for little or no cost.
The research, carried our by Ideas for Ears in November 2017, reveals that people feel excluded, stressed and embarrassed by the difficulties they experienced. They are missing important information, are not able to contribute as effectively as they could do, and consequently are being put off attending future meetings and events.
The survey was completed by 362 people who have varying degrees of hearing loss and are aged from 18 to 80 plus, and was supported by Hearing Link supporters.
Sally Shaw, director of Ideas for Ears, said: “People with hearing loss represent one sixth of the population so they are a large minority group. Most of these individuals actually have the capability of hearing adequately, or even very well, so long as the barriers that cause difficulties are removed or reduced. There is absolutely no need for so many to have such poor experiences on such a regular basis.
“The findings from the survey research illustrate that people very much want to attend and join in meetings and events but are struggling with the hostile hearing conditions. This is giving rise to a whole range of feelings, from hopelessness, helplessness and embarrassment to frustration and anger.
“For the majority of survey respondents, noise and poor acoustics are the main culprits. The noise generated by the babble of conversation is especially difficult. We clearly do not want to stop people talking, but we do need to start seeing much better management of noise and acoustics by venues and facility managers and building designers.”
For a full breakdown of the survey results, visit: https://www.ideasforears.org.uk/blog/meetings-miss-the-mark-due-to-hostile-hearing-conditions/