DeafHear.ie has an important advocacy and campaigning role in creating awareness of the issues for people with hearing loss, and in advocating for change.
DeafHear.ie will be happy to provide spokespersons, comment and information to the media on issues relevant to Deaf and Hard of Hearing people.
Current Issues & Campaign Priorities:
Access, Advocacy & Equality Issues:
DeafHear is focused on a priority list of public policy initiatives to improve access for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people in all aspects of society and community life, including education, health and employment. We see social isolation as the key challenge, and promoting social participation as the effective solution. Priority issues range from developing remote ISL interpreting to improve access to health and other services for sign language users; programmes to support people with hearing loss to maintain social participation, better access to TV and telecommunications to reduce social isolation, more provision of loops and other technology to improve access in the wider environment.
Deafness in Older People:
Hearing loss in older people is a very prevalent condition affecting more than 40% of people aged over 60 years, and it has a major impact on their well–being and safety. The HSE report that 8% of Irish adults (270,000) have a disabling hearing loss. Hearing loss is a disability which affects quality of life, impacts on social life and psychological well–being, and increases social isolation. It results in increased risk of illnesses such as depression and dementia. Not hearing warning sounds such as smoke alarms and fire alarms affects safety. Access to assisitive technology, information, and interventions to support people to manage their hearing loss proactively can radically improve the quality of life of Deaf and Hard of Hearing people and their families.
Deafness is a hidden disability masking the Deaf person's need for assistance. 50% of people with acquired hearing loss experience communication difficulties with family members, while 85% have difficulty communicating in hospitals (DeafHear Survey Survey, 2009). Deaf Awareness Training enables service providers to communicate effectively and politely with a Deaf or Hard of Hearing person without causing any embarrassment to the person or themselves.