Deafness, or any impaired hearing, is not only a dreadful disability, but a frightful social handicap. The difficulties of receiving oral information begets many problems. Focusing on sounds is the most difficult; the amplification of modern hearing aids is not necessarily selective; hence all sound is augmented.
Whereas many social groups and public bodies treat other disabilities with consideration, little regard is given to those with hearing difficulties. Indeed, even among the charities this is a “Cinderella”; there is no image of great appeal; dignity of character is not easy for the deaf. In these days of piped muzak “audio wallpaper” everywhere, in dwellings, shops, stores and public places, it is not surprising the difficulty of the unfortunately afflicted is increased. Even for many individuals of mature years, focusing and sorting out the relevant sounds can often be impossible.
Background music has become almost a disease, a plague of noise.
It increases daily. In York city a leading store which has been without background muzak for years, has just recently been wired for piped muzak. No longer can many enjoy meeting friends in the cafeteria for a social chat.
Alan Cochrane, Aldborough Way, Parkside, York.