Dining out can be tough for people with hearing loss. A Baltimore nonprofit wants to change that.

Summarized by Rachel Cain, staff writer

Restaurants’ noisy environments may cause complications for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing in understanding their servers and their friends at the table. A nonprofit organization in Baltimore is hoping to fix this.

The Hearing and Speech Agency helps train servers and managers to accommodate people with different forms of hearing loss. Restaurants can offer seating with better acoustics for people who are hard of hearing and provide written, rather than spoken, lists of the daily specials.

“Do you need a booster seat, a handicap-accessible table, or do you need accommodations for hearing loss or hearing status?” said Erin Stauder, the agency’s executive director, during a training session. “I think it just starts conversations and starts to destigmatize something that is very much still stigmatized.”

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