Deaf Awareness Week 2019

Portable LoopThe focus today on deaf awareness week is related to youth and families. My own family is one that has had an extensive exposure to deafness. My sister was diagnosed with deafness when she was relatively young, before she left home and both of my parents were deaf as they reached their middle age. To be honest my own hearing is not perfect so I am one of the 8-10m people in the UK who suffer from hearing loss but have not got as far as to get a check up. The three other members of my parental family are or in my dads case was part of the 2-3m people who rely on hearing aids. My dads sister in law was profoundly deaf and sadly as she reaches the end of her life she has dementia and is blind also. The challenge is what can each of us do to improve matters. I confess my interest in deafness extends to the business I am part of which fits hearing loops as part of an audio visual system and next week I am having a meeting with a local police force to discuss how we can improve matters for them in terms of both the employees as well as the members of the public. This is a major step forward for them in both my understanding and theirs. We also work for nearby County Council and a local unitary City Council to maintain and improve their hearing loops and associated equipment. This is a developing theme as less than a decade ago our company was not as well informed as we are now. We have supplied hearing loop technology for a number of domestic clients. The image above is of a device that is almost worthless and yet is still sold by many manufacturers which is an appalling matter. The problem with these devices is that in most cases the loop and the microphone are both fixed to the same device and so the person with the hearing aid and the person speaking need to both stand so close to one another that the hearing aid is sufficient. Only in settings where the microphone is located in one area where the person speaking is located and the hearing loop is located in the area where the person with the hearing aid is located, will this solution assist the deaf person.

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
This entry was posted in Charities, Deaf & Hard of Hearing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Deaf Awareness Week 2019

  1. btrhrngsolns says:

    RE: “a device that is almost worthless and yet is still sold by many manufacturers “.
    Ian, I’m happy to read “almost useless”. The device has its uses and most effectively when equipped with an external microphone. The problem isn’t at the manufacturer level – we do need the product. All too often, venue owners are too quick to drive toward the installer to the lowest cost and tick the item on a checklist. When user satisfaction becomes the driver, these units (and more suitable systems) will be used appropriately.

    • ianchisnall says:

      The fact is that the devices that don’t have external microphones should be removed from the market in my opinion. I was part of Loop up Lewes and we visited a number of retailers that had the devices without external microphone arrangements. They fitted into two possible arrangements. Some were not charged up at all and the others were permanently charged so that when they were disconnected from the main connection the battery stopped working because it had impacted by a permanent connection to the mains.

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