by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition
This article by Marcella Bernanrdo, from the Vancouver CityNews, reports that loud restaurant noise is driving away people with hearing loss, because they can’t understand speech in noisy environments.
Ambient noise is a disability rights issue for those with auditory disorders. Right now, both the Canadian and U.S. economies appear strong and restaurants are busy, so no wonder restaurateurs see no need to make restaurants quieter even though restaurant noise is a major complaint even for those with normal hearing.
Given the lack of economic incentive, it will likely require legal action under disability rights law, or local action by dedicated activists demanding ordinances regulating noise, to make restaurants quieter.
I say there is no time like the present–get online, find your local politician, and ask him or her where they stand on noise.
Dr. Daniel Fink is a leading noise activist based in the Los Angeles area. He is the founding chair of The Quiet Coalition, an organization of science, health, and legal professionals concerned about the impacts of noise on health, environment, learning, productivity, and quality of life in America. Dr Fink also is the interim chair of Quiet Communities’ Health Advisory Council, and he served on the board of the American Tinnitus Association from 2015-2018.