To mark Deaf Awareness Week (May 6-12), national charity Action on Hearing Loss is teaming up with Brighton and Hove Buses in a bid to raise awareness of hearing loss and deafness across the city.
On Thursday May 9, from 11am-2.30pm, the charity will be on board a double decker at Bus Stop D in Churchill Square, Brighton, offering free hearing screenings for anyone worried about their hearing; British sign language taster sessions; information about the latest assistive technology; free ear plugs; and a host of useful information and advice about being more deaf aware.
Hearing loss affects people of all ages and can be caused by a number of factors, including exposure to loud noises, virus or disease, aging and it can be inherited. It is an invisible yet life-changing condition that can be linked to isolation, depression, and cognitive decline. It can also make the risk of developing dementia between two and five times more likely.
This Deaf Awareness Week, Action on Hearing Loss is encouraging people to be more deaf aware in their daily lives to make our city more inclusive and accessible for people who are deaf or have hearing loss.
In a survey of 1072 people, the charity found that 65% of people had felt isolated at work because of their hearing loss, and one in three felt bullied at work. With an increasing number of people affected by hearing loss, the charity is inviting employers to come along to learn about easy steps to take to make their business more inclusive.
Jane Bailey, Head of Volunteering at Action on Hearing Loss, said: “People with hearing loss experience stigma and prejudice on a daily basis with many also facing teasing and discrimination. By making small changes in our lives, we can have a big impact on bridging the communication gap and challenging stereotypes.”
“Anyone worried about their own hearing, the hearing of a loved one, or anyone wishing to make small changes to ensure that their workplace or social group is more inclusive, should come along and talk to us this Deaf Awareness Week. Hearing loss shouldn’t prevent anyone from living the life they choose, and we are here to break down any barriers in the way.”
Martin Harris, Brighton & Hove Buses’ Managing Director, said: “Last year’s mobile hearing screening centre on board one of our buses was hugely successful. People who may not normally have come forward or who might find it hard to make the time, got on and got checked. I’d encourage anybody who is concerned about their hearing, or that of a family member or friend, to come and use this free, friendly service.”
For more information about hearing loss, deafness or tinnitus, please visit: www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk.