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Elderly music lover told to remove hearing aids at concert felt ‘humiliated’

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Published Time: 16.05.2024 - 15:40:39 Modified Time: 16.05.2024 - 15:40:39

The 80-year-old won £4,000 damages from Aberystwyth University for her ordeal – and donated it to a deafness charity Wales News Service An elderly music lover has said she felt “humiliated” when staff demanded she take out her hearing aids at a concert in an arts centre

The 80-year-old won £4,000 damages from Aberystwyth University for her ordeal – and donated it to a deafness charity

: Wales News Service

An elderly music lover has said she felt “humiliated” when staff demanded she take out her hearing aids at a concert in an arts centre.

Susan Davies, 80, brought a discrimination claim against the Arts Centre at Aberystwyth University after she and other hearing aid users were told to take out or turn down their listening devices because they could affect the acoustics during a performance.

Ms Davies won a £4,000 pay out and an apology after she and others were “shouted at” by “intimidating” staff members during last year’s AberMusicFest, leaving her “humiliated and upset”.

Ms Davies said that, after one performance, staff started “searching” for hearing aid users in the crowd, saying their devices affected the sound for other attendees.

After another performance, Ms Davies said, an audience member stood up to tell people to turn down hearing aids.

Ms Davies said: “She shouted ‘turn your hearing aids off’ and one gentleman shouted: ‘How on earth can we hear if we are told to turn our hearing aids down?’”

And on a third occasion, Ms Davies said, a member of staff claimed hearing aids were “causing an irritating noise nuisance to non-hearing aid users” and apparently laughed while she said it.

Ms Davies said: “I spoke to a technician there during the week and mentioned to him about it and I said: ‘Are you aware there are problems with the acoustics in the Great Hall?’ And he said that his view was that it’s to do with the wiring under the extended seating that can be moved in and out.

“He said it’s very unfair to blame hearing aid users for any acoustic interference that might happen,” she added.

Settlement donated to charity

Ms Davies wrote to Aberystwyth University to voice her concerns but after several letters did not feel they had done enough to remedy her complaints.

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