This is the theme of deaf awareness week launched by the UK Council on Deafness and over 100 charities working with deaf people, including the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID).
Libbie Sheppard, RNID regional information officer, said, “1 in 7 are affected by hearing loss, but simple things can make a big difference, such as looking at the person before you start to talk. Speak clearly and don’t shout.
“Fifty five per cent of over 60s have a hearing loss, so all clubs and groups need to remember that half their members may be affected and should take their communication needs seriously. Many places have loop systems but sometimes staff don’t know how to work them or the equipment isn’t installed properly or even switched on.”
She also said young people nowadays are in serious danger of hearing loss because of loud music. “Listening to MP3 players too loudly and for long periods can damage hearing.
“Some people go to clubs and festivals with extreme levels of sound and risk permanent damage. Give your ears a rest for several minutes every hour for recovery and check out Don’t Lose the Music at www.rnid.org.uk”
“We’d also like people to think about their own hearing and take our hearing check. You can do this over the phone – a 5 minute phone call will highlight whether you need to go to your GP and get your hearing checked properly.”
Call 0844 800 3838 or see www.rnid.org.uk