Winners in the Individual Category of the 2019 Hearing Access Award are listed below. They were nominated by people with hearing loss for their positive and effective approach towards hearing access.
NOTE: This year the awards were run jointly with the Forth Valley Hearing Access Forum and so highlight the experiences over the last 12 months of people with hearing loss who live in Forth Valley. Your group, club or organisation can participate next year – find out more.
WINNER: Anne Brown, chair, Forth Valley U3A
Nominated for her phenomenal support in championing hearing access within Forth Valley U3A and for her empathy and practical action in encouraging Forth Valley U3A to act as an example of good practice to other U3As.
With Anne’s support, Forth Valley U3A has assessed its own hearing access and started to take concrete steps towards improvement. This has included the testing and purchase of high quality portable audio equipment and promoting the need for good microphone use and speaking practices so it is easier for members, especially those with hearing loss, to hear and follow what’s said.
RUNNER UP: David Hamilton, Meldrum Farm, Blairdrummond
Nominated for his fuss-free and helpful approach to ensuring everyone could adequately hear and follow what he was saying when leading a group of older people with varying levels of hearing on a tour of his farm.
Without having to be reminded or prompted, he checked there was limited noise around and that everyone was close to him before he started speaking. He also made sure everyone could see him and projected his voice so he could be heard. It helped everyone in the group to feel included and to enjoy the visit.
RUNNER UP: Dr Kathleen Brennan, GP, Dunblane Medical Practice
Nominated for her thought and care in making sure she met the communication needs of a patient with hearing loss, and did so at each appointment without having to be repeatedly prompted or reminded. She made sure to speak with clarity at a moderate volume and pace and that she always looked at the patient when speaking. She also regularly checked that the patient was following things.
These small, practical steps reduced the effort involved in hearing, following and remembering what was said in the appointment and therefore significantly reduced the patient’s anxiety about attending appointments.
COMMENDED: Bob Kirk, Board Member, Forth Valley U3A
Nominated for his valuable efforts in encouraging Forth Valley U3A Activity and Group Leaders to engage in opportunities to learn about hearing access so there is more awareness about hearing and deafness issues impacting on participation and enjoyment and more knowledge of how to ensure that all members can participate in and enjoy Forth Valley U3A meetings and activities, whatever their hearing is like.
COMMENDED: Lee Stevenson, Stirlingshire Voluntary Enterprise
Nominated for her pro-active and helpful approach in meeting the communication needs of a service user with hearing loss. When delivering an all-day workshop that involved talking through a lot of detailed information, she took care to ensure that a participant, who she knew to have hearing loss, was able to hear and follow adequality. She did this discretely and appropriately, so as to not to call attention to the participant or to impact on their dignity. The participant was able to participate fully and had a positive and enjoyable learning experience.
COMMENDED: Laura Stuart, Staff member, Tesco Dunblane
Nominated for her pro-active and helpful approach towards meeting the communication needs of a customer with hearing loss. She was exemplary in the way she engaged with the customer, making sure she looked at them and spoke clearly, and checking that the hearing loop was working well. She even used some basic sign language when she saw that the customer could use it. As a result, the customer had a very positive and enjoyable shopping experience and felt valued.