New research by the Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID) has found that the majority of the UK?s museums, arts venues, theatres, cinemas and tourist attractions effectively exclude Britain's 9m deaf and hard of hearing people because of ineffective access policies or untrained staff.
In a mystery shopper exercise, RNID visited over 100 top attractions across the UK and found that:
? Half did not have a loop or infrared system
? Three quarters did not have a loop logo visible.
? Three out of four had no textphone service (though some provides email, fax, website or Typetalk).
? Nearly two thirds provided no published information for deaf or hard of hearing people.
More encouragingly, the research has also revealed a few shining examples of good practice, including London's Tate Modern which was highly commended for its accessibility, services and staff awareness. Brian Lamb, RNID?s Communications Director said: ?Many institutions are only paying lip service to their duties to provide equal access to deaf and hard of hearing people. We urge the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to encourage the industry to put these policies into practice...? RNID?s recommendations include the establishment by the DCMS of a dedicated Arts & Culture Disability Access Fund to enable small-scale and poorly funded theatres, museums, art galleries and tourist attractions to pay for communication equipment and support. For further information t: 020 7296 8137/8