LETTER: Conference focus on hearing issues

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More and better hearing loops are needed in public places across the UK to help improve the accessibility of facilities and services for people with hearing loss.

To help address this issue our charity is hosting an International Hearing Loop Conference on 6 and 7 October. We hope that local people in your area will consider attending. The two-day event is being held in the beautiful coastal town of Eastbourne, East Sussex, which may be some distance away but this is an extraordinary opportunity.

The event is for hearing aid and cochlear implant users, as well as groups, clubs and organisations that could potentially help us to carry out an audit of hearing loops in your local area. A variety of professionals and experts will also be at the conference, as well as service providers. Find out more at www.hearinglink.org/loopconference

Hearing loops have been around for some years but they have often been poorly installed or inadequately maintained. This has resulted in people trying to use them having poor experiences. Frustratingly, the issues are usually easy to fix.

Hearing loops are installed into buildings or used in portable form to direct sound and speech directly into hearing aids and cochlear implants. They can be used in shops, banks, care homes, theatres, places of worship and many other places.

I very much hope that you can help make people aware of the International Hearing Loop Conference. This is the first time it has been held in the UK and it is undoubtedly the last for many years to come.

I should like to add that people shouldn’t be concerned that they won’t hear the discussions as we will have good communications support in place, including a hearing loop and large screens to display a text transcript of what is said as it is said. The event will be social and enjoyable as well as interesting.

Dr LORRAINE GAILEY

Chief executive of Hearing Link, 27-28 The Waterfront, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN23 5UZ