Friday, 22 August 2014

Cycling with limited hearing or deafness

Floor has a hearing problem but that doesn't mean she can't cycle. A limited hearing sign warns people behind her not to rely upon being heard.
A hearing problem or even a complete lack of hearing can cut people off from what is happening behind them. This is a potential problem when cycling because cyclists rely upon ringing a bell or their voice in order to communicate that they wish to pass.

The same symbol can be used
on a rucksack
In the Netherlands, everyone cycles. That includes people with many disabilities including limited hearing and deafness. The Stichting Plotsdoven (Sudden Deafness Foundation) are amongst the people promoting the sign shown on the back of Floor's bike above as a way to warn cyclists that the rider ahead of them cannot hear their bell.

Short for  Slechthorend,
or limited hearing.
There has actually long been another symbol used on bicycles in the Netherlands to indicate the same thing. An SH sign is seen quite often attached to the back of bicycles.

Because the new yellow sign does not rely upon knowledge of Dutch and because the picture of an ear gives a greater chance that people will understand what the sign means without being told, this is perhaps a better idea as a standard for international use by cyclists with limited hearing or deafness.

For now, though, cyclists in the Netherlands need to know what both these signs mean.


Anonymous said...

Good to know: I've never (consciously) seen either sign and certainly wouldn't have guessed the meaning of the older "S|H" one.

lagatta à montréal said...

I speak more German than Dutch, but I'm not sure I'd have thought of Schlechter Hören. The visual sign is much easier to understand.

Glad to see this.

Unknown said...

I too have never seen either of these signs. I think they are both unclear (in an immediate situation)as to their meaning. I think just spelling it out would be better= slecht