Those of you with tinnitus and hyperacusis will totally understand when I say that it is almost impossible for us to go for dinner these days because of sound levels in restaurants. The music is turned up loud, so people talk louder to hear each other ... my central nervous system stands on edge like finger nails down glass.
When my partner or I ask for the music to be turned down, we have been greeted with very negative responses. It's such a small thing that could be done to be hearing disability inclusive, but it is usually responded to, under duress.
Then Jeff and I had this idea that maybe, if we went for dinner on a week night, at a quiet time, we could have a DATE NIGHT. It was the first time in 2 years that we had been out for dinner.
We started going regularly to The Porth Hotel in Llandysul because they were so lovely. They kindly turn the music either down or completely off while we are there. This is inclusive practice.
This weekend, it was Jeff's Birthday and he decided he would like to go for Sunday Dinner but we both knew it would be too noisy for me. So, I rang the Porth Hotel and explained.
Do you know what they did, they set up a lovely table for us in a quiet part of the hotel. How kind. It meant that Jeff and I could come out for a lovely Sunday Dinner for his Birthday.
It really made me think about inclusion. Restaurants and shops have their signs up saying they are disability friendly but do they really care about us? It doesn't feel like it. They are just ticking a box. What The Porth Hotel did for us was compassionate.
So, I got to thinking about the notion of 'Compassionate Inclusion'. Wouldn't it be amazing to collate stories about service where businesses show compassionate inclusion, enabling a person with a disability to experience a full life. To celebrate these businesses so that others wanted to follow suit.
There could be a Compassionate Inclusion Award or Certificate that we give where it is deserved. I wonder who I should write to about it Any ideas?
You can get see the PORTH HOTEL HERE.