Equality Act, 2010

Equality Act, 2010

This act replaces the existing anti-discrimination laws with a single Act.

It simplifies the law, removing inconsistencies and making it easier for people to understand and comply with it. It also strengthens the law in important ways to help tackle discrimination and inequality this means that it is unlawful to treat disabled people less than others for reasons of their disability.

While it is often easy to understand the barricades to accessing a service for those in wheelchairs, hearing disability is generally a hidden problem, covering numerous diverse forms, the most common can be assisted by the use of hearing aids.

Hearing aids in themselves are not an over-all solution to the problem. Someone with normal hearing can appreciate a good level of intelligibility in the incidence of loud background noise whereas a person with hearing loss needs greater distinction between the actual sound that creates the intelligibility and the interfering background noise.

One solution to this problem is an Audio Induction Loop system, or hearing loop, this is an assistive listening technology for individuals with reduced ranges of hearing. A hearing loop consists of a physical loop of cable or an array of looped of cables which are placed around a designated area, usually a room or a building. The cable generates a magnetic field throughout the looped space which can be picked up by a hearing aid and specialized hand-held hearing loop receivers for individuals without telecoil compatible hearing aids. The loops carry audio-frequency currents; no carrier signal is used. The benefit is that it allows the sound source of interest—whether a musical performance or a ticket taker’s side of the conversation—to be transmitted to the hearing-impaired listener clearly and free of other distracting noise in the environment. Typical installation sites include concert halls, ticket kiosks, high-traffic public buildings, auditoriums, places of worship, courtrooms, meeting rooms, and homes.

Employers must make “reasonable adjustments” to ensure that a disabled person is not at a substantial disadvantage compared to other employees. This could be an adjustment to the building, or to a work practice. Employers also have to make reasonable adjustments to their recruitment procedures.

 

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