Hospitality staff get sensory awareness training to improve experience of people with hearing loss

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Forth Valley Sensory Centre logo

Forth Valley Sensory Centre logo.

Staff at a top hotel in Dunblane have been given specialist training to improve the experiences of guests with hearing loss.

Forth Valley Sensory Centre (FVSC) delivered the training at the DoubleTree Dunblane Hydro hotel near Stirling. The one-day course outlined how deafness impacts on people’s daily lives, and the adjustments that can be made to meet their needs and make them feel more comfortable during their stay.

Victoria Hilton Hotel staff sat around tables in boardroom style talking and signing to each other.

Victoria Hilton Hotel staff sat around tables in boardroom style talking and signing to each other.

Staff at the Victorian Hilton hotel were given deaf awareness training and a British Sign Language workshop to enable and empower them to support and welcome customers who have sensory loss. The deaf awareness training involved helping them understand what it is like to be deaf, the differences between BSL and English, the barriers people face and what different words and terminologies mean. Workers then had a chance to learn some basic BSL including finger spelling, the alphabet, and how to say their name.

FVSC supports thousands of people across Forth Valley in Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire, offering a range of services to those who are blind, partially sighted, deaf and hard of hearing. The training sessions are one way that they work to improve the lives and experiences of people with sight and hearing loss in the area. FVSC delivers sensory awareness training to organisations both at the centre or by visiting businesses.

For more information, please visit the Forth Valley Sensory Centre website.

“One of the biggest barriers to accessibility is people’s attitudes. Training like this makes a huge difference to people with sensory loss. When staff are more aware, they can make things a bit easier for those with sight or hearing loss. Often it is small tweaks that make the biggest difference – being able to make people with sensory loss feel valued and welcome, knowing how to book an interpreter, writing things down and using plain English all make a real difference. There are still a lot of misunderstandings and misconceptions about what deaf and blind people can and can’t do. This training goes a long way to tackling that and making life easier for people with sensory loss. This all makes things as inclusive and accessible as possible by helping people be more aware and understand how they can get around some of the barriers blind and deaf people face”.

Hannah Wilson, volunteer coordinator at Forth Valley Sensory Centre

“Providing a warm welcome to all guests is important to us, and learning basic sign language, including the sign for our signature DoubleTree chocolate chip cookie, empowers our team to create a more inclusive environment for those with sight or hearing loss upon arrival.”

Jade Hall, HR manager at the Dunblane Hydro


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