Press Release – National Foundation for the Deaf
Happy Holidays With a long weekend just around the corner, many Kiwis are planning to make the most of the last of the summer and head away to the beach. But for the over 700,000 New Zealanders who are deaf and hearing impaired, having an enjoyable …Happy Holidays
With a long weekend just around the corner, many Kiwis are planning to make the most of the last of the summer and head away to the beach. But for the over 700,000 New Zealanders who are deaf and hearing impaired, having an enjoyable weekend away isn’t always that easy.
Recent research done by Auckland University of Technology shows that many hearing impaired people would like to travel more, but don’t because they are concerned that their hearing loss needs won’t be met.
Ninety percent of New Zealand respondents also felt that the level of service in the New Zealand tourism industry for people with hearing loss needs to be improved.
“It’s important for customer service staff to be patient and understanding, with some training about how to serve guests who are deaf and hearing impaired,” says Louise Carroll, CEO of the National Foundation for the Deaf.
“From a safety perspective, it’s imperative that emergency alarms are visual as well as audible, and that all guests have access to public announcements. Staff also need to be knowledgeable about how to communicate with hearing impaired guests in an emergency.”
Most of the people surveyed would return to a business that had good services for people with hearing loss and recommend it to others.
Over two thirds also indicated they have trouble finding information about New Zealand tourism products that are accessible to people with hearing loss
“There is a lack of information about services and access for people who are hearing impaired and deaf in the tourism sector in New Zealand,” says Mrs Carroll. “This is a real concern for the sector.
“There needs to be a service which provides this sort of information. The National Foundation for the Deaf is hoping to work with the tourism industry and New Zealand Government to address this.”
The National Foundation for the Deaf has developed communication cards to help businesses improve their communication with deaf and hearing impaired people. These are being distributed free of charge in the Auckland and Northland regions. Please call 09 307 2922 or visit nfd.org.nz to order yours.
The National Foundation for the Deaf is a member organization based national charity that works to promote the interests, advancement, independence and well-being of the approximately 700,000 deaf and hearing impaired persons in New Zealand and their families. We raise public awareness of the health, social, educational, economical, environmental and cultural barriers encountered by deaf and hearing impaired persons and their families on a daily basis, and aim to break down barriers for participation for people with hearing loss, whilst encouraging all New Zealanders to protect and preserve their hearing. Our vision is an inclusive society in which the importance of hearing and the consequences of hearing loss are understood and acknowledged – a society that respects the rights of all deaf and hearing impaired people, enabling these people to actively participate in and contribute to the community, leading an enriching life and communicating to their fullest potential.
Visit www.nfd.org.nz to learn more and make a secure online donation