A NATIONAL charity has launched a new initiative in Worthing to promote the use of hearing loop systems for those with severe deafness.
The Let’s Loop Worthing campaign aims to increase awareness and effectiveness of hearing loops, a special sounds system for people with hearing aids.
While many public places use the service, it is not always effective as it can be because of issues like training and maintenance.
Dave King, user experience manager for Hearing Link, said: “The Let’s Loop Worthing campaign is an initiative to promote the use of hearing loops in the town and create greater awareness among hearing aid wearers and businesses, and the wider public.”
A hearing loop provides a wireless signal that is picked up by the hearing aid when it is set to the ‘T’ (Telecoil) setting – but the service is not always as effective as it could be.
As part of the Equality Act 2010, there is a requirement for all public bodies and private organisations to take reasonable steps to prevent discrimination of individuals or groups with a disability who use their services.
Hearing Link is working with the audiology department at Worthing Hospital and West Worthing Rotary Club, with support from Worthing Borough Council.
David Clayton-Evans, of Worthing Hospital’s customer care team, said: “The Let’s loop Worthing campaign is a great initiative and we are looking forward to working with other organisations to help us further improve our loop provision for hard of hearing patients and visitors.”
For those with impaired hearing, a good system makes a significant difference to their ability to hear.
But due to factors such as the surroundings, level of maintenance and staff training devoted to them, the quality of the service can vary dramatically in different places.
Maureen Kelley, 77, of Worthing, said: “When the system is working well, it’s an absolute boon, but the level of service can be patchy.
“We don’t want to be too negative to what is frankly a relatively new way of operating, but the users of the loop service need to be able to give negative feedback where the system isn’t being employed effectively, and also positive feedback where the system is working really well.”
Visit www.hearinglink.org for more information.