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Health club enhances skills to meet the needs of deaf members

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Health club enhances skills to meet the needs of deaf members


Published by HearFirst for HearFirst in Communities and also in Education, Health

Deaf and disability awareness training was one of the list of activities on the timetable for team members at a local health club in Glasgow.

David Lloyd Leisure staff in Renfrew attended an in-house training session earlier this month to help them improve communication with their deaf customers.

The half-day session was delivered by award winning workplace training and consultancy company, HearFirst and aimed to help team members at the health, sports and leisure club understand what deafness means to give them new skills to communicate with Deaf customers more effectively.

The training helped the club’s teams to learn about people with varying levels of hearing loss and the different ways they communicate and access the services they offer.  It also helped them to understand how to communicate with deaf customers in a class situation and also when demonstrating health and safety advice such as gym equipment and welcome inductions.  The session included interactive activities including lip reading and basic British Sign Language.

The sessions were facilitated and delivered by HearFirst tutors who are all deaf themselves. The purpose of this is to add relevance and depth to the training and Julie Ryder, Director and Founder of HearFirst, said: “David Lloyd Leisure in Renfrew are leaders in their field and have shown a proactive approach to meeting the needs of their deaf and hard of hearing members and guests. It’s extremely positive to see a business recognise the value of deaf awareness training.  

“One in six people in the UK have some degree of hearing loss and most of the time we can’t see it and we don’t know who those customers are.  It makes business sense that staff can communicate confidently and professionally with all their customers. Leisure centres in particular need to understand that most hearing aids and listening devices are not water proof and someone’s ability to communicate and hear emergency alarms may be significantly poorer when using the pool, saunas and showers.”

General manager, Brian Docherty who also attended the training session himself, said: “David Lloyd Renfrew is delighted to have taken part in this initiative with HearFirst, which gave us invaluable insight and skills to further improve our communication with deaf members. David Lloyd Leisure has worked very hard to recognise and address the barriers that some people face in using sports and leisure facilities, providing free access to personal assistants and carers of disabled members, in addition to our staff attending disability awareness courses as part of their basic training. This training session was a great way to enhance the knowledge of our team members to ensure that we meet the needs of our deaf members. ”

For more information on Deaf, disability awareness and BSL training, please contact Julie at HearFirst on 01706 872 816 or visit


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