Hearing

Hearing loss

  • Moderate hearing loss is very common especially in the over 60s.
  • It can destroy a sufferer's natural confidence and lead to isolation and depression.
  • It can be compensated by hearing aids and other technical devices but most of all by sympathetic and knowledgeable support from peers.
  • U3A activities are an ideal therapy for the social isolation which hearing loss can bring.

Making open meetings accessible

  • Provide a well installed induction loop and PA system (see link)*.
  • Check the equipment before the meeting.
  • Use a room which is the right size for the numbers (not too big).
  • Ensure that speakers understand the needs of members with hearing loss (see link)*.
  • Display important information on a screen or provide printed handouts.

Making interest groups accessible

  • The vital element is understanding and support from group leaders and members.
  • Make sure hard of hearing members can explain their needs confident of the support of the group.
  • Indoor discussion groups should use a room appropriate to the numbers and with good lighting.
  • Technical aids such as induction loops and personal listeners can be useful but they should be tested first in a realistic situation before buying.
  • U3As should share their experiences and successes in making their activity more accessible.