- Moderate hearing loss is very common especially in the over 60s.
- It can destroy natural confidence and lead to isolation and depression.
- It can be compensated by hearing aids and other technical devices but most of all by sympathetic and knowledgeable support from peers.
- Being able to see the lip patterns of the speaker and ensuring one person speaks at a time will also help people with hearing loss to follow what is being said.
- u3a activities are an ideal therapy for the social isolation which hearing loss can bring.
Making open meetings accessible
- Provide a well-installed induction loop and PA system.
- Check the equipment before the meeting.
- Or consider purchasing a portable loop system such as a Conversor
- Use a room that is the right size for the numbers (not too big).
- Ensure that speakers understand the needs of members with hearing loss (See our Notes for speakers).
- Display important information on a screen or provide printed handouts.
Making interest groups accessible
- The vital element is understanding and support from group leaders and members.
- Make sure hearing-impaired members can explain their needs, confident of the support of the group.
- Indoor discussion groups should use a room appropriate to the numbers and with good lighting.
- Technical aids such as portable induction loops and personal listeners can be useful but they should be tested first in a realistic situation before buying.
- u3as should share their experiences and successes in making their activity more accessible.
For access to support from other organisations please click here