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Access for All in Retail

We’re calling on retailers to make their stores accessible for people who are deaf or have hearing loss – during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

The problem

For too long, retail spaces have been inaccessible for people with hearing loss – whether down to background music, a lack of hearing loops, or no deaf awareness training for staff.

The pandemic has only added to these barriers, with face coverings, physical partitions and social distancing creating a more difficult experience.

What we want to change

We want retailers to take action and make their stores accessible for the 12 million people in the UK who are deaf or have hearing loss. We are sending an open letter to some of the biggest retailers, urging them to take our four simple steps to becoming more accessible for our communities. These are:

  1. To minimise the barriers created by face coverings.
  2. To reduce background noise, including piped music.
  3. To use hearing loops.
  4. To provide staff with deaf awareness training.

We want to support retailers to make these changes. Our Louder than Words training and services can help businesses become more accessible.

The campaign so far

In July we launched our open letter, asking you to sign it to help us demonstrate the importance of accessibility in retail stores.

Download and read our open letter

More than 1,700 of you signed the letter urging the UK’s leading retailers to make their stores accessible for people who are deaf or have hearing loss.

We have started sending our letter to the retailers suggested by you, with our first letters going to the largest supermarkets in the UK. We look forward to hearing back from these retailers and will keep you updated on any progress.

Get involved

We will continue to send our open letter to more retailers over the coming weeks. If you haven’t already, sign the letter now, so that together we can show retailers just how important these measures are.

Sign our open letter