Hello, we're Ideas for Ears

Ideas for Ears is a not-for-profit social enterprise that helps people and organisations to overcome the impact that hearing ability can have on enjoyment, participation and opportunity.

1)  We gather data about experiences people have in being able to listen, hear and chat when in cafes, restaurants, community halls, health facilities and more. We gather that data on our Rate & Review site.

2)  We support organisations in making customer and staff environments more comfortable and inclusive for people with any hearing ability.

3)  We connect people who have hearing loss with solutions that can potentially assist, including those that should be made available in public places.

4) We help businesses that provide products and services to people with hearing loss to test, enhance and market their offerings to better meet the needs of users.

Our aim is to make the UK a more hearing-friendly nation - one that is more considerate of people's hearing needs and more effective at addressing them.

The concept for Ideas for Ears was created by: Sally Shaw, Bill Bateman, Jennifer Bowden and Kate McFarlane.  All have hearing loss and live with the incoveniences and difficulties this can bring.

Sally Shaw Director of Ideas for Ears

Sally Shaw, Director

Latest news

Supporting product innovation. We are pleased to report that the latest trial of the Goshawk Speech Platform has been completed, bringing a conclusion to a two-stage proof-of-concept exercise to test an exciting new telephone solution.

The Goshawk Speech Platform is a Cloud-based speech intelligibility product that aims to make telephone calls clearer and easier to hear for people who have hearing loss. It works by personalising audio sound travelling through a telecom or IP network to match the hearing profile of the listener. The software adjusts the signal as it is being transmitted, which means the user has no need to adapt or alter their telephone hardware, digital device or hearing aid, in order to receive the modified sound.

The Goshawk Speech Platform has been developed by Goshawk Communications Ltd, one of the UK’s top 20 digital innovators. The trials of the technology were funded by the Wellcome Trust. The first phase of the trials was completed in 2015 and was reported on in early 2016. The second phase was completed in early 2017 and findings are expected to be made public soon.

Ideas for Ears was commissioned to support both phases of the trial, providing independent management, monitoring and recording of the experiences of the trial volunteers, as well as analysis and reporting of the findings.

Supporting service development. Ideas for Ears was recently commissioned by Black & Lizars, a leading provider of high quality vision and hearing care services, to carry out in-depth customer research to identify opportunities for refining and evolving their best practice clinical and customer care.

The independently owned business, which has 23 practices across Scotland, was seeking detailed and accurate insights regarding perceptions and experiences of their hearing and vision care patients. Ideas for Ears designed and delivered a survey-based project to achieve this. The project was concluded in April 2017.

Data was gathered and analysed independently by Ideas for Ears. Findings suggest that levels of satisfaction of extremely high amongst Black & Lizars patients, most especially amongst hearing care patients.

Some specific findings relating to hearing care services include: 100% were positive about the help they received when trying a hearing aid; 94% said they felt at ease with the clinician; and 92% said the support and understanding they received was good or very good.

Recent media coverage. Our activities have been featured in a variety of media sources, including:

Lighting & Sound International - how theatres and concert halls can improve provision for people with hearing loss

HR Grapevine and the 'Healthy Working Lives Bulletin April 2016' - hearing-related issues in the workplace

The Times,  Action on Hearing Loss news site,  Limping Chicken - results from the trial new telephone technology

Hearing in the workplace. Large numbers of staff are being negatively effected by hearing-related issues in office environments, according to findings from survey research we undertook in the UK offices of a leading multi-national company. The impact is felt across all staff but is particularly acute amongst those who have hearing loss.

If your company would like to understand how hearing issues could be impacting on your staff, get in touch. We can also help remedy any weakness that are found.

NHS Forth Valley Healthy Working Lives. In a project similar to that undertaken with the multi-national company, we have worked with NHS Forth Valley Healthy Working Lives to explore the way people hear in the workplace across the Forth Valley area. The insights we have gathered will assist businesses and organisations in identifying actions that can help boost staff well-being and performance. Read Sally Shaw's blog.

All Ears Solutions for all Contact us

Email: info@ideasforears.org.uk.

Call/text: 07739 581059.

Twitter: @IdeasForEars

Registered address: 57-59 High Street, Dunblane, Perthshire FK15 0EE. Company number: 516105.

Latest testimonials

Michelle Le Prevost, Managing Director, Black & Lizars

"We were very impressed by Ideas for Ears, in particular Sally’s approach to researching our hearing and eye care business which was very thorough and meticulous. Sally was efficient and worked closely with our team to perfect and conduct the survey in order to optimise insights and understanding. We were guided through the process and received very comprehensive feedback which is invaluable in the development of strategy and communications. Sally was strategic, professional, enthusiastic and I would highly recommend her services."

Matthew Turner, CEO & Founder of Goshawk Communications Ltd

"Goshawk Communications was delighted to have found such a professional and hard working expert in Sally Shaw of Ideas for Ears for our clinical trials on the Isle of Man. Sally’s commitment, ability to communicate and manage volunteers of different ages and abilities over a period of two years as well as organising, engaging and generating an accurate and independent record a complex trial data over variety of technical and network issues was simply excellent.

"We could not have asked for a more capable and well-meaning individual who really did make a difference both with the volunteers and the innovative research programme Ideas for Ears was involved with. I look forward to working with Ideas for Ears in the future.”

Want to know more?  Drop us a note.

Our memberships

We are pleased to be members of the following organisations:

Health & Social Care Alliance Scotland; Scottish Council on Deafness; Social Enterprise Scotland; Scottish Disability Equality Forum; Stirling Area Access Panel; Volunteer Scotland.

Thanks to our supporters

Ideas for Ears is receiving fantastic support from a wide range of sources. We especially want to acknowledge The big Lottery Investing in Ideas; The Big Lottery Awards for All and Scotland UnLtd.

We are also grateful to Just Enterprise, the Scottish Enterprise Academy and Entrepreneurial Spark.

Ideas for ears supported by the Lottery
Ideas for ears supported by Scotland UnLtd
Ideas for ears supported by Entrepreneurial Spark
Ideas for ears supported by The People's Postcode Trust