Scottish tourist sites fail to meet the needs of people with hearing loss

GLASGOW, Scotland - Several of Scotland's major tourist attractions are failing to cater for the needs of people with hearing loss, a charity has warned.

Scottish tourist sites fail to meet the needs of people with hearing loss

GLASGOW, Scotland – Several of Scotland’s major tourist attractions are failing to cater for the needs of people with hearing loss, a charity has warned.

Mystery visitors from Action on Hearing Loss ­Scotland found only three out of 21 venues – Stirling Castle, McManus Museum in Dundee and St Mungo’s Museum of Religious Life and Art in Glasgow – had working hearing loops at their main ticket or ­information point.

Although The National Museum of Scotland and Holyrood Palace did not have working loops, the mystery visitors considered the two Edinburgh venues and ­Stirling Castle to have the most accessible overall experience.

Melrose Abbey in the ­Scottish Borders, the Scotch Whisky Experience and Our Dynamic Earth, both in Edinburgh, The Falkirk Wheel and the Robert Burns Museum in South Ayrshire were considered to be the least accessible.

Robin Wickes, who wears hearing aids and lives in Edinburgh, says: “A working loop at the ticket or ­information desk has a huge impact on whether I decide to continue with my visits to tourist attractions.

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“It’s very frustrating when staff aren’t deaf aware and there are no loops.”

Director of Action on Hearing Loss Scotland Delia Henry said: “People who are deaf or hard of hearing have the legal right to enjoy the same level of service as other customers.”

The other attractions visited by the mystery ­visitors were Camera Obscura in Edinburgh, Discovery Point Dundee, Edinburgh Castle, Glasgow Cathedral, Glasgow Science Centre, Paisley Abbey, Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh, Scone Palace in Perthshire, and House for an Art Lover, the Transport Museum and Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow.

Chris McCoy, from­VisitScotland’s Accessible Tourism Project, said: “While many of Scotland’s attractions have gone to great lengths to ensure that visitors with accessible needs are catered for, we know that the industry, as a whole, can still improve.”

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