Hearing access specialists
Hearing access specialists

welcome to ideas for ears

Welcome, we’re glad you found us

Ideas for Ears is a progressive, fresh-thinking social enterprise that is run by people with hearing loss.  We are a not-for-profit initiative with a grass roots approach.

We support organisations to make their products, services and facilities more accessible, desirable and effective for people with hearing loss.  We involve people with hearing loss in what we do, including our award-winning Community Hearing Hub volunteers.

Our activities help to remove barriers and to reduce the numbers of people experiencing communication disadvantage or discrimination.

Our work enables greater equality, diversity and inclusion and promotes higher levels of participation, well-being and independence.

More about Ideas for Ears

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Insight, information & loads of practical advice and guidance is available in a new video resource created by Ideas for Ears.  It is designed for managers, staff and volunteers who are using phone and video calls more than ever before to deliver important health, care & befriender services.

The video is delivered by Sally Shaw, founder & director of Ideas for Ears and Scotland’s 2019 Sensory & Equality Champion of the Year.  It looks at the challenges of phone & video calls and how to reduce or remove those challenges.

Watch the 3-part video in full, or watch each part separately on our Video Resources.

Learn what creates problems on phone & video calls – and what fixes them

An information video for managers, staff and volunteers who are using phone and video calls to deliver important health, care & befriender services.

What we do

We do 3 things:

  1. Illustration of a group of peopleWe educate people about hearing and deafness.  We equip them to understand, measure and tackle the barriers and obstacles that impact on communication, participation and enjoyment.
  2. We assess whether people with hearing loss are having their needs met.  We identify where communication disadvantage or discrimination is potentially or certainly occurring.
  3. We provide specialist project support to organisations looking for great results.  We offer bespoke consultancy around access and inclusion, marketing and engagement.

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Education & training

We specialise in helping individuals and organisations to understand hearing and deafness and how it affects communication, participation and enjoyment. Our educational services are tailored to suit different audiences.

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Workshops & webinars

Our workshops and webinars cover a variety of niche topics relating to hearing, deafness, access and equality. Each course is designed to meet the requirements and interests of organisations and individuals with different roles and remits.

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Hearing access

Hearing access matters every bit as much as mobility and physical access. It is about making it more possible for more people to more easily hear and follow the spoken word and other audible information.

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Our passion for hearing access

We are leading the way on hearing access.  We are making it easier for people with hearing loss to be able to hear and follow conversation, presentations, announcements and other audible information.

Reliance on listening and hearing cuts across all aspects of life on a day-to-day basis. With good hearing access in place, the vast majority of people with hearing loss can hear or follow what’s said well or adequately. It is vital for achieving equality, inclusion and ‘communication for all’.

Guidance on how to achieve hearing access is provided in the Hearing Access Protocol.

About hearing access

Sketch showing 7 people sitting round a table with a microphone between them
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Deliver hearing access

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It's worth knowing

Line drawing of two people enjoying conversationPeople can be unaware for years. It can take ten years or more for people to recognise that they have hearing loss. Gradual decline can be hard to spot, as can the creeping number of instances of pretending to hear things when you haven’t.

Hearing aids are wonderful but have limits. They do not fix hearing as glasses fix vision, it just isn’t possible. And incredible though they are, they can struggle to pick up speech from people who are more than a few metres away, or to distil speech in noisy or echo-y places.

Hearing as well as possible helps to keep your brain healthy. The brain needs to continually hear speech and sound in the right way so it stays sharp and adept at interpreting voices. If the conversational sound becomes faded, dull or woolly then the brain isn’t being stimulated in the right way and cognitive decline is a real and proven risk.

Straining to hear is draining. The effort of listening absorbs brain energy and makes you less likely to remember what you have heard. For those with hearing loss, listening can cause significant mental and physical fatigue, especially if the listening is being done in environments that are noisy or have poor acoustics.