As a deaf or hard of hearing person, it sometimes may seem like local businesses have no idea how to accommodate your hearing loss. Other times, you come across an exceptional salesperson or attendant who does everything he or she can to help you have a positive experience at his establishment.
For both the good experiences and the bad, there’s Deaf Review. This website (created by the fabulous Echo) works just like yelp.com or citysearch.com, but instead of reviewing businesses as a whole, people review businesses for their degree of deaf or hard of hearing friendliness (of course, the food matters too!). Reviewers can rate business on a one to five star scale, and then tag that business with a variety of factors, such as “Accepts Relay Calls” or “Knows ASL.”
Echo explains that the purpose of her website is “bringing awareness to deaf-friendly businesses, and corrective feedback to ‘deaf-challenged’ businesses. Reviewers fit a number of categories: deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing (HH), friends/family of the deaf and those with a special interest in creating a deaf-friendly world.” She recently demonstrated her dedication to expanded to the hard of hearing community by adding a “Hearing Loop Installed” tag. So, if you ever attend church at Northlake Unitarian or go to a presentation at the Volney Auditorium, you can write a review about your experience with the hearing loop!
Thanks to Echo for the wonderful website. Although it’s called “Deaf Review,” it is a very useful resource for the hard of hearing community, as well. All people, whether they’re deaf or HoH, need access. Although we achieve that access through different methods (sign, pen and paper, cochlear implants, assistive listening devices, hearing aids etc), we all have the same long term goal: to make Seattle a hearing accessible city.