Acoustic accessibility – this issue of controlling controlling social noise

  • This paper will outline the challenges faced by people with hearing disability to participate in ordinary social settings from small social gatherings to public events. Hearing impaired people make up as many as 1:6 of the population, yet their needs for social participation are rarely considered within the context of designing the social. The paper will outline the nature of hearing difficulties experienced by this cohort, difficulties that persist even when using hearing devices. The paper will conclude with an exploration of the kinds of design issues that need to be addressed in order for shared space to be acoustically accessible for people with hearing disability.

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