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November 11, 2004

Blues score with the deaf as city visitor attraction

From: ic - Birmingham,UK - Nov 11, 2004

Visitor attractions in Birmingham are not sufficiently prepared to help deaf customers, according to a survey published today.

A mystery shopper from the Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID) visited tourist venues in the city and found that while staff were friendly and helpful, they were often unsure of how to communicate with deaf people. Thinktank at Millennium Point and the Botanical Gardens in Edgbaston were both praised for having loop systems fitted to help clarify sound for hearing aid users.

But it was not working and in the wrong place at Thinktank

and at the Botanical Gardens it was not plugged in and staff did not know how to use it.

The National Sealife Centre and ThinkTank do not currently offer British Sign Language (BSL) interpreted tours, but said they would consider it in the future. The Ikon Gallery said it was happy to organise BSL interpreters if given enough notice.

The best visitor attraction in the region was Birmingham City Football Club. The club has a disability policy and had two BSL interpreters available. Disability awareness training for staff and a loop system are due to go ahead in the near future.

Copyright Trinity Mirror Plc 2004