11/11/2015

Hearing Loop Awareness Week

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Let’s Loop Swindon joined in with the charity Hearing Link in their ‘Hearing Loop Awareness Week’ between 2nd and 8th November. Over the summer, checks were undertaken in customer facing council premises and across doctors’ surgeries.

The checks at the council’s customer facing premises showed that on paper three quarters had loops, but only just over a quarter of those loops worked. The Council are very keen to improve this situation and are working with Let’s Loop Swindon to raise awareness amongst staff.

During Hearing Loop Awareness Week, there were workshops in the Civic Offices, where staff could experience how loops work using the Let’s Loop Swindon’s loop listeners, or indeed their own hearing aids!

The survey of doctors’ surgeries concluded that 62% of surgeries had loops available or installed, but only 1 in 2 of those worked. Most of these surgeries had portable loops, again highlighting the difficulties premises face in maintaining a portable loop’s internal batteries properly.

In the lead up to Hearing Loop Awareness Week, Let’s Loop Swindon volunteers re-visited supermarkets to determine if loop provision has improved since the results of the first survey were published in January.

Starting in Hearing Loop Awareness Week, volunteers re-checked loop provision in Swindon’s pharmacies, re-checking the results of the very first survey undertaken in September 2014.

There was a display in the Central Library during Loop Awareness Week, and the group asked hearing aid wearers to complete an anonymous survey. During the week, the survey forms were available at the library.

A Let’s Loop Swindon’s volunteer worked with New College to help improve their provision of Hearing Loops for young people who wear hearing aids. The College’s loops have been checked and advice was given on how they might be improved.

Looking ahead, Let’s Loop Swindon are moving into a phase where the benefits of hearing loops to hearing aid wearers are stressed. Volunteers at the hospital are being trained about hearing loops by one of the volunteers, so that they can communicate the benefits to audiology department clients.

Let’s Loop Swindon also launched their own leaflet during Hearing Loop Awareness Week, encouraging hearing aid wearers to experience the benefits of their hearing aid ‘T’ setting.

For more information about Let’s Loop Swindon, contact:

Tim Mason: tim.mason@1100rotaryeclub.org

Steve Aftelak: stephenaftelak@ntlworld.com

Tel: 01793 536815.

Let’s Loop Swindon is a community project designed to improve both awareness of and the provision of hearing loops in the town. The group is organised by the Rotary Community Corps, working in partnership with the charity Hearing Link (www.hearinglink.org). Other partners involved in the Let’s Loop Swindon Steering Group include: Voluntary Action Swindon, Swindon Borough Council, Swindon Equalities Coalition, the Zurich Community Trust, SEQOL, and the National Trust.

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