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Archive | News and Events

Sound: Stories of hearing lost and found

A fascinating book about one woman’s experience of losing and regaining her hearing. It’s currently (May 22-26) being read on Radio 4 as Book of the Week. (NOT the ideal medium! ATLA will contact the BBC.)

In 1997, Bella Bathurst began to go deaf. Within a few months, she had lost half her hearing, and the rest was slipping away. She wasn’t just missing punchlines, she was missing most of the conversation – and all of the jokes.  (ATLA says, ‘If only Bella had known about lipreading classes!’) For the next twelve years deafness shaped her life, until, in 2009, everything changed again.

Sound draws on this extraordinary experience, exploring what it is like to lose your hearing and – as Bella eventually did – to get it back, and what that teaches you about listening and silence, music and noise. She investigates the science behind deafness, hearing loss among musicians, soldiers and factory workers, sign language, and what the deaf know about these subjects that the hearing don’t.

If sight gives us the world, then hearing – or our ability to listen – gives us each other. But, as this engaging and intelligent examination reveals, our relationship with sound is both personal and far, far more complex than we might expect.

Available from libraries and bookshops,  Sound by Bella Bathurst is published by the Wellcome Collection, and the reading is available on iPlayer here until 26th June 2017

 

Stories for lipreaders – new website launched

A group of Hampshire lipreading tutors, lipreaders and techno-wizards has joined forces with local writers to develop an exciting new website, which uses short stories to help people with hearing loss.

Stories for Lipreading‘ is a new, free website for people with hearing loss, which offers the chance to practise lipreading skills and enjoy some good writing at the same time. Lipreading is a vital method of communication for people with hearing loss: it is a way of recognising lip shapes and patterns – as well as facial expressions and context – to help make sense of conversations.

Stories for Lipreading’ provides films of short stories being read aloud by trained lipreading tutors. There are printable sheets to accompany each film, so lipreaders can choose how much support they want in reading each story.

Stories for Lipreading’ is ideal for more experienced lipreaders, says Meg Finlayson, one of the lipreading tutors who helped to set up the project. ‘It can give them the chance to practise lipreading longer phrases – with the big advantage that you can pause and rewind the film if you lose the thread.  If only life was like that!’

 

Hearing Loss Awareness Event in Bletchley, 21 July

Community Learning Milton Keynes are hosting a free event to raise awareness of hearing loss, at

Rivers Centre,  Humber Way, West Bletchley MK3 7PH

Friday 21st July, 9am to 1pm

Free entrance

Participants will be able to attend taster sessions in lipreading and British Sign Language, and access information about services available to those with hearing loss.

If you or someone you know is experiencing hearing loss and would benefit  from support, advice  and guidance, you are welcome to attend this event

Service providers and support groups wil be present to answer questions and offer help and information.

For more information, please contact Philip Allsop or phone 01908 556705

Invisible Music

This promotional video is based on the thoughts and feelings towards music, of the Winchester Lipreading Class. The ‘finished article’ will be performed at the Winchester Theatre Royal early next year and then at the Southbank,

Chair of ATLA on Breakfast TV

Molly Berry, Chair of ATLA, appeared on Breakfast TV on March 17. Speaking about the development of a machine to lipread by a team of researchers from Oxford University, Molly managed to broaden the topic to cover the day-to-day lipreading that we as deaf and hard of hearing people have to do. She explained some of the problems we as lipreaders face, and provided the practical tips that we teach in lipreading classes.

Walks and talks for lipreaders

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

walks & talks for lipreaders

Sunday, 12th March, 2017

11.30 am – 1.30 pm

Meet: Under the Big Clock on the Concourse

At

Waterloo Station

The South Bank and the Festival of Britain

Walk with Diane Burstein, London Blue Badge Guide

and Lipspeakers Lynne Dubin & Dilys Palin

BOOKING FORM

 On this walk we go back to 1951 when the Festival of Britain took Londoners out of post war austerity to marvel at the latest innovations in art, design, industry and technology at a festival to celebrate the centenary of the Great Exhibition of 1851. Find out how this event was a catalyst for the regeneration of the entire South Bank which is today famous for its arts centre. We trace the surviving remnants of the festival including, two sculptures and the recently restored Royal Festival Hall. We view the post festival arts centres such as the National Theatre and finish with a great riverside panoramic view from the riverside walkway adjacent to the Oxo Tower.

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, 12 March, 2017 BOOK SouthBank, Festival of Britain

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