The volunteers who are part of the Ideas for Ears Community Hearing Hub have had their amazing work recognised in the Inspiring Volunteer Awards for the local area.
Sally Shaw, founder and director of Ideas for Ears, says she is delighted, and adds: “They have worked exceptionally well as a team, with everyone contributing in one way or another. The award would help to recognise their commitment, practical action, positivity and determination to make day-to-day life easier for local people who have hearing loss.”
Volunteers between them have considerable and wide-ranging first-hand experience of deafness, including different levels of severity, use of hearing aids, lipreading, sign language and more. Here are a few of the things they have been getting up to:
- They have reached out to important local groups and individuals to help build awareness and understanding of the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion and how this relates to people with haring loss.
- They have written articles, shared leaflets and organised for presentations/talks to be delivered.
- They have helped review and assess hearing access by attending venues and services and reporting on their experiences.
- They have supported the emergence of pilot activities in the Stirling area to help identify how best to equip people with the knowledge, skills, capability and attitude to help make things easier and better for people with hearing loss.
- They were highly instrumental in instigating a project by Ideas for Ears that resulted in the creation of the UK’s first Hearing Access Protocol, which was launched in August 2018.
- They have been invaluable in supporting Ideas for Ears and the national organisation deafscotland to generate awareness of hearing access and to encourage a Members’ Debate in the Scottish Parliament to discuss the issue.
- They have acted as a focus group to influence the development of important aspects of the customer experience by a soon-to-launch, world-first phone technology for people with hearing loss.
- They have supported research by Ideas for Ears and the University of Dundee to investigate the communication issues that exist within table/group discussions. The project should result in digital facilitation tools that can promote inclusive communication.