Part of DeafHear’s Mission is to encourage others to provide services fully accessible to Deaf and Hard of Hearing people and their families, and to strive to make public and private sector organisations, and society at large, more Deaf aware.

We know that Deaf and Hard of Hearing people experience high levels of social isolation and low levels of social participation. We aim to address these social inequalities through advocacy and campaigning for improved services, and for better access to society for all.
For further information on the social inequalities experienced by Deaf and Hard of Hearing peole and the impact of deafness on their lives click here [Go...]

Public Policy

Public policy initiatives have the potential to impact strongly on the lives of those with significant hearing loss. This impact can be negative or positive. DeafHear has focused its priority action for impact on the areas within the ‘Life Quadrant’ (Above Circular Image).

Positive action in Health, Education, Employment and Social Inclusion and Access policies has the potential to minimise or eliminate the disabling impact of deafness and hearing loss for individuals and for society as a whole. According to the HSE Review of Audiology Services Report, 8% of Irish adults (270,000) people have a significant disabling hearing loss that impacts on their daily lives.

The impact of hearing loss on quality of life is significant: people with hearing loss are twice as likely to experience depression, and two to five times more likely to develop dementia. Hearing loss has been found to impact more negatively on quality of life than cancer of heart disease. This is because it affects communication, which is fundamental to daily living, social participation and inclusion.

Advocacy Campaigns and Activities

Strategies to increase social participation and minimise the destructive influence of social isolation are at the core of DeafHear’s advocacy campaigns and activities. Present campaign and advocacy activities include:


  • Improving access to health services and consultations.
  • Greater access to assistive technology for older people, e.g. in nursing homes.
  • Timely access to audiology services for all; with a focus on earlier intervention for adults with acquired hearing loss.


  • Better subtitling and more Irish Sign Language programmes on TV.
  • Subtitles to be provided on RTE Player.
  • A modernised text relay service.


  • Equal access to housing in locality of choice.
  • Equal access to communication in residential centres.
  • Improving safety in the home, e.g. adapted smoke alarms.


  • Improved assistive technology in the classroom.
  • Research to assess outcomes for children in mainstream schools.


  • Keep the Sound: DeafHear’s campaign to increase awareness among young adults of the need to protect hearing.
  • Irish Remote Interpreting Service: working with partner organisations to develop this service to improve access to a range of services for sign language users.







DeafHear Submission to ComReg
on Text Relay Services 2015

Download File
287 kb
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DeafHear Submission to BAI
on Access Rules 2014

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240 kb
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DeafHear Submission to HEA
on Equity of Access to Higher Education 2014
Download File
221 kb
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Media Contacts: will provide spokespersons to comment on issues relevant to Deaf and Hard of Hearing people on request.

To contact Brendan Lennon; Head of Information and Policy, click here...


Media Contats / Publications:

For all media information check out...


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more...Early diagnosis is vital in limiting the impact of deafness on a child’s development.


Legal, Compliancy & Security


Registered Office:, 35 North Frederick Street, Dublin 1, Ireland.

Tel: +353 (0)1 8175700 Minicom: +353 (0)1 8175777 Fax: 01 8723816 Text: 087 922 1046

Charity Number:
CHY 5633 Charities Regulatory Authority (CRA) Number: 20008772
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