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Health information – is it accessible to you?

The Accessible Information Standard sets out requirements for organisations to identify, record, flag, share and meet the information and communication needs of people with a disability, impairment or sensory loss.

All organisations that provide NHS care and / or publicly-funded adult social care must follow the Standard in full. It came into force 1st August 2016 onwards.

NHS England is now reviewing the Standard to assess the impact and to ensure that it is ‘fit for purpose’. As part of the review Action on Hearing Loss is surveying various groups for their views.

The survey is available from their website – as  are other surveys for health providers, organisations etc. http://www.england.nhs.uk/accessibleinfo

Please take the time to have your say before the deadline of 10th March 2017.

Walks and talks for lipreaders

The latest walk for lipreaders has been announced, book early to avoid dissapointment –

walks & talks for lipreaders

Sunday, 22nd January, 2017

11.30 am – 1.30 pm

Meet: to be confirmed

From Surgeons to Squadrons

Walk with Kim Dewdney, London Blue Badge Guide

and Lipspeakers Lynne Dubin & Dilys Palin

BOOKING FORM

This winter walk takes us to Lincoln’s Inn Fields with famous architects, politicians, lawyers and surgeons to discover.  The buildings are beautiful, the park is serene and the stories are fantastic with assassinations, family feuds and royal divorces to enjoy.  From here we will stroll to the marvelous Wren church of St Clement Dane and discover the history of the Royal Air Force.  There are memorials to and from the US Air Force, the Polish flyers in WW2 and those from the Commonwealth – and where else in London are you going to encounter a flying guinea pig?

Tickets £7.00 pp, payable in advance. Please complete form below & send with cheque made out to: Lynne Dubin, to Walks&Talks for Lipreaders, 48 Cunliffe Close, Oxford OX2 7BL. The ‘ticket’ will be sent out by e-mail. People without e-mail should enclose a S.A.E. Advance booking essential

Contact: Lynne SMS 07890 103 777 OR E-mail: lynnedubin16@gmail.com

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Sunday, 22 January, 20167 BOOK From Surgeons to Squadrons

NAME:

ADDRESS:

Tel. no: E-mail:

Atla Information Stands and Talks

Atla representatives run stands and give talks at various events. Come and meet us at –


Ménière’s Society Annual Conference 2016
Saturday 15 October 2016 10:30 – 16:15
Avonmouth House, 6 Avonmouth Street, London SE1 6NX

U3A Education day
Saturday 22nd October 09:30 – 16:15
Torquay Academy, Cricketfield Road, Torquay TQ2 7NU

If your organisation would like a speaker, or to know more about Lipreading and Managing Hearing Loss Classes, please contact us.

How effective are hearing loops?

Those of us who have used a good working hearing loop with our hearing aids or cochlear implants, know just how helpful they are, but until now, we had no data to prove that.

This is a link to a study that has proved just how effective they are, even for people with normal hearing. Use this if you want to campaign for a loop to be fitted at a venue you use.

http://www.hearingreview.com/2016/07/effects-hearing-loop-systems-speech-understanding-sound-quality-normal-hearing-listeners-hearing-aid-users/

Do you struggle to communicate with your GP?

GP and hospital appointments can be difficult for us.  To make communication easier, the NHS (in England only) has introduced a clear process to make sure people who are deaf or hard of hearing can communicate well when they need NHS care or publicly funded adult social care.

To help you explain what support you need, Action on Hearing Loss have produced a template letter for you to send to your GP practice manager, or a card which you can fill in and give to the receptionist the next time you’re at the surgery.

MPs debate deafness and hearing loss

Despite having perhaps weightier issues on their minds, Parliament  debated the NHS England Action Plan on Hearing Loss and the new adult hearing service commissioning framework,  on Thursday 30 June. You can read a report of the debate here.

There are eloquent contributions by MPs Jim Fitzpatrick and Lilian Greenwood, both involved in the All Party Parliamentary Group on Deafness. Key issues were the rationing of hearing aids by some CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups) over which the Health Secretary Alistair Burt seemed  reluctant to issue a central directive, and a decision against the introduction of an adult screening programme. Other issues were the delays in getting people with early signs of hearing loss diagnosed.

Marks and Spencer turns down the music

M&S is turning  off background music in its stores after ten years, to give its customers a chance to browse in silence.

The new music-free policy will be put into practice over the next few weeks at 300 clothing and home branches across the UK. Food stores were already silent!

The move follows extensive feedback from customers and staff.

Customers want to enjoy restaurants’ taste in food, not music

Turning off the music and up the lights may not seem conducive to creating the right ambience for diners seeking an enjoyable night out. But there are many people – namely the 10 million deaf and hard of hearing – who would welcome this more considerate approach, says ATLA.

As part of Lipreading Awareness Week – 12-19 September 2016 – we will be is asking restaurants to choose a day to invite their customers to ‘come and enjoy their taste in food, not their taste in music’.

In return ATLA will give participating restaurants some basic deaf awareness training for their staff, a poster to display of their local lipreading class and a press release template to send to the local media.

It’s a way that restaurants can show to their community that they are thinking about potential customers’ needs and it could help to generate new business, says ATLA’s vice-chair Molly Berry.

“The silver pound is very important to restaurateurs and Lipreading Awareness Week is a good time to ask yourself if your restaurant is welcoming this business. Getting this right could earn your business a lot of money, with nearly half of people aged 65-plus having some form of hearing loss,” says Molly.

The problem that people with hearing aids have is that their devices amplify sound, including all the background noise, and the sound gets distorted by echo. For this reason ATLA is asking restaurants to reduce this echo or bouncing of sound on hard surfaces by using tablecloths, the wipe clean variety is fine and preferably with under cloths, to cushion the effect.

Longer term, ATLA would like restaurants to introduce more soft furnishings: curtains, cushions and carpet, or where this is impractical, easy to clean rubber flooring. Alcoves, booths and room dividers also help shut out unwanted noise, even if it’s just to head height. And acoustic ceiling tiles, supplied by specialist companies, are effective in making it easier to hear, for customers whether they have a problem or not.

Also, good lighting is important so lipreaders can see the face of the person speaking. And personal loop systems, which enable hearing aid users to hear just what is said within the range of the device, are available for a very reasonable cost. It is worth having one or two hearing loops available for anyone who requests them, says Molly, ensuring customers know they are on site.

“Many hard of hearing people avoid going to restaurants because it’s just too difficult for them to follow conversations and pick out the sounds they want to hear,” says Molly. “But minimum investment can fix this and make a restaurant a much more pleasant environment for everyone to hear each other and hold conversations in, not just the hard of hearing.”

 

Gene that causes Otosclerosis identified

This is the first very welcome step towards finding a way to prevent otosclerosis, one of the most common forms of hearing loss in younger people.

https://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/news-and-events/all-regions/press-releases/new-research-discovers-gene-that-causes-common-deafness.aspx

What it’s like to lipread

People with no hearing difficulties rarely give any thought to what it would be like to have to rely on lipreading to communicate with others. But a new video makes people stop and think about it.

Many of the 11 million people (according to Action on Hearing Loss) in the UK who have some form of hearing loss depend on lipreading to communicate with family, friends and colleagues.

A powerful video from National Geographic, made by the Little Moving Pictures production company, shows what life can be like for those who use lipreading — and it’s definitely not easy.  But if you attend a lipreading class, you will find help and support!

The video begins with people speaking clearly, as subtitles flash up on the screen. Gradually their words become quieter and the subtitles blurred.

The footage also shows how different situations, such as nightclubs, which pose no problem for those who can hear, make things even harder for lipreaders, .

The video is based on the essay “Seeing at the Speed of Sound” by Rachel Kolb, who also narrates and stars in the piece.

At the end of the video Kolb tells viewers how frustrating lipreading can be.

“There have been times when I’ve questioned why I even try to lipread, to wade through this swamp, when I could just use sign language,” she says. “Some deaf people choose to do just that. It’s like a different world — a world filled with rich expression and culture. When people sign they come alive. But I know I want both worlds.”

Go to Learn to lipread to find a lipreading class near you.