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.
We do 3 things:
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.
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.
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.
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.
People 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.