Hearing impaired visitors to Bournemouth include those with:
- mild hearing loss who may have some difficulty following speech in noisy environments
- moderate hearing loss who may have difficulty following speech without hearing aids
- severe hearing loss who may rely a lot on lip-reading even with hearing aids. They may use British Sign Language (BSL) as their first or preferred language
- profound deafness who may use BSL as their first or preferred language or they communicate by lip-reading.
Depending on their level of hearing loss, people use different types of communication support. These include:
- hearing aids, which are used by approximately 1.4 million people
- lip reading
- BSL, which is used by around 50,000 people
Those who use hearing aids are assisted by induction loop systems, which help them to hear more clearly by reducing background noise. Counter, room and portable systems are available. Hearing amplification systems are also available.
Many tourism facilities in Bournemouth already have these systems installed. For example, there are induction loops at all of the seafront offices and cliff lifts, and at the Tourist Information Centre. The Bournemouth International Centre has an infrared amplification system in the Windsor and Tregonwell Halls.