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Smart Bulb 'could prove revolutionary' for deaf people

LG's Smart Bulb blinks when users get phone calls – could this new ‘smart lightbulb’ open up smartphone usage amongst people with hearing loss?

The South Korean company's Smart Bulb is an LED lightbulb with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. It will last for over a decade if switched on for an average of five hours per day. This represents an 80 per cent energy saving compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, according to LG.

The lighting system can be programmed to act as an alarm clock, getting gradually brighter from a chosen time in the morning, rather than emitting a sound. It also comes with a 'security mode', which turns the lights on for short periods while the user is away on holiday, to deter burglars.

More from the Hearing Times.

Hearing aids and patient choice: article by Hearing Link CEO

Giving patients more choice of hearing aid services is a good idea in theory, but only if they have the right information to base their decisions on, writes Hearing Link CEO Dr Lorraine Gailey.

The key driver behind all NHS change in recent times has been on placing the patient at the centre of care. The any qualified provider scheme is one step along the path that aims to transfer more choice and control into the hands of patients.

At the launch of any qualified provider in April 2012, routine adult hearing aid services in the community were one of the first eight treatments to be included in the scheme.

A significant number of areas in England selected these services as one of their first three treatments to implement, so there is already a reasonable amount of experience to allow us to assess how well the scheme is delivering to the primary goal of empowering patients to make informed choices about who provides their treatment.

More on this article from the Health Service Journal.

Bill Oddie couldn't hear his feathered friends' tweets and song any more

Not being able to hear the high-pitched tweeting of birds might not matter very much to most people. But when you’re Britain’s best-known bird-lover, such hearing loss presents a rather serious problem — as Bill Oddie recently discovered.

‘I first noticed it when I was out on Hampstead Heath bird watching four years ago — because what people don’t realise is that a very high percentage of bird watching is actually bird listening,’ says Bill, who came to fame in the zany TV series The Goodies in the Seventies, but is now more closely associated with wildlife shows.

‘The first thing you do is listen and see what is singing or calling, then you track down the bird to look at it. I can recognise the call or song of most British species.'...

More on this story from the Mail Online.

Healthcare for deaf people who don’t use sign language

A recent study by charity SignHealth has revealed that sign language users are more likely to suffer from long term health problems than their hearing counterparts, suffer misdiagnosis and have problems understanding their medication.

The solutions to these problems involve expanding the use of sign language interpreters; but what of the hundreds of thousands of profoundly deaf people in the UK who don’t use sign language? 800,000 people in the UK are severely or profoundly deaf with around 180,000 of working age.

If there is a problematic shortage of sign language interpreters in healthcare then there is a famine of biblical proportions when it comes to lipspeakers, notetakers or speech-to-text reporters (the often crucial methods of communication for deaf people who don’t sign).

Alex Broderick, aged 32 and completely deafened by meningitis as a baby, doesn’t use sign language interpreters and was in hospital recently suffering excruciating pain from a gynaecological condition called Endometriosis. For Alex, there was simply no support available to help her understand what medical professionals were saying, so she relied on her mother to pass on critical information.

Read more on this story.

Together we hear! Free event in Guildford. Friday 9 May

Free Event

Talks, demonstrations & workshops with: DeafPlus, SignHealth, Action on Hearing Loss, Hearing Link, FirstPoint, Sense, NADP, Deaf Positives.

  • Have your Hearing Aids Re-tubed or Hearing Checked.
  • Local & National Organisations who provide advice & support on hearing loss.
  • Equipment demonstrations
  • Try a taster session: Lipreading & British Sign Language.

Friday 9th May, St Saviours Church, Woodbridge Road, Guildford GU1 4QD. 9.45am—3pm. Open to All, please drop in & stay for as long as you can.

For more information tracey.wade@cofeguildford.org.uk Deaf & Inclusion Adviser. Tel: 01483 790327 (Weds/Thurs/Fri) SMS (txt/voice):07531 268476.

Thursday 24 April: 1pm- 3pm: Deaf and hard of hearing employment event: St Helens

Need help looking for work?


1.30pm - Department of Work & Pensions. Information on Benefits & Access to Work


2.15pm - S.E.A Recruitment. Employment Agency for BSL


Deafness Resource Centre, 32-40 Dentons Green Lane, St Helens, WA10 2QB.

Please reserve your place by contacting Amie 01744 23887 amie.johnson@deafnessresourcecentre.org

The Secret Deafie: How many deaf old people are left frightened and confused at the lack of communication while in hospital?

In the last few years [of my mother's] life her increasingly frequent visits to hospital coincided with age-related hearing loss , which made it increasingly difficult for her to communicate with medical staff, despite the otherwise exemplary care.

She survived her first operation at the age of 86, mending a broken hip. She was already quite hard-of-hearing, as was my Dad, but they both coped quite well, and we all pootled along quite happily, especially as in the meantime her operation gave me more confidence for my own CI op, also my first.

Two years later a sudden stroke caused her hearing to take a nosedive, something that both Dad and I noted, but it was also difficult to disentangle this from the effects of something akin to an auditory processing disorder.

Read more from the Limping Chicken.

Angie Aspinall: Three years ago today, my world went silent

It’s three years today since I… how do I say it..? Lost my hearing. Went deaf. Became suddenly deafened. Suffered ‘Sudden Sensori-neural Hearing Loss’. Suffered ‘Acquired Profound Hearing Loss’.

It’s hard to sum up it up simply with an accurate description because I already had some degree of hearing loss in the affected ear and was already severely deaf in my other ear so, what happened was I became ‘suddenly much deafer’ but, that doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue, does it?

The other thing about trying to describe what happened is, that at the time, nobody used any of those terms and it wasn’t until much later that ‘what had happened to me’ was proclaimed as permanent and given a medical label.

More on this story.

Hearing Link online shop

Love shopping? Then you're just the person we're looking for!

We've just launched a survey featuring ideas for new ranges of goods we might sell in the Hearing Link shop and we would love your feedback.

If you have five minutes to spare, please do take part by visiting: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HLShop

Thanks as always for your input!

Microsite launched for teenagers with hearing loss

Can hearing solutions stream music? Can I do outdoor sports no matter the weather? Teens want to know all about the latest hearing technology and what it can do for them.

Because a teen’s world is a different one, Phonak presents the first microsite tailored to the needs of teenagers with hearing loss. Through teen-specific hooks such as music, sports and social life, the site offers them all they want to know about hearing technology – and more importantly, what it can do to enhance their lives.

Surveys have shown that hearing impaired teens see themselves as normal teens who happen to have hearing loss. They love to be active in sports, music, and other fun activities like any other teenager. They expect their hearing aids to allow them to do whatever they want to do without being limited by their hearing loss.

Visit this microsite.

Why care homes should do more to help residents with hearing loss

According to Action on Hearing Loss, the take up from care homes to install suitable procedures and equipment is low to say the least. No exact figures are available, but it seems that very few care homes have a set of procedures or even equipment in place to deal with and support hearing loss.

Many care homes do not check residents' hearing or even ensure they wear their hearing aids once they have got them. It is estimated that in England alone at the moment around a quarter of million older people in care homes either have hearing aids, or would benefit from them.

Hearing checks have been integrated into routine health assessments in some enlightened care homes, however. Care homes, such as Sunrise Senior Living, have put diagnostic and support procedures in place.

As Lyn Sheldrake, Sunrise’s national dementia care manager says: “Identifying sensory loss is a critical part of the assessment process, and team members understand that it will have an impact on the care given to individual residents within communities. Understanding how the loss or limitation of a sense affects a person, who may also be living with dementia, is a vital part of wider training at Sunrise.

“Care team members understand the importance of good communication, and so will fully explain and demonstrate to residents how important it is for a hearing aid to be worn. Residents are regularly monitored for signs of hearing loss and team members work closely with medical specialists to address any discomfort, build-up of ear wax, and the refitting and checking of hearing aids.”

More on this story.

Cilla Black has implant, reports MailOnline

Cilla Black has had an implant inserted into her right ear after she began to go deaf.

The 70-year-old presenter is reported to have had the procedure at a hospital last month in a bid to save her hearing.

A source told The Sun on Sunday's Andy Halls: 'Cilla had started to lose hearing in he right ear and it was becoming more and more noticeable. It's age-related more than anything but she wanted to nip it in the bud before it got more serious.'

According to the paper, Cilla had been given the choice of having the implant or a hearing aid, but went for the former because then she doesn't have to worry about changing batteries.

It is understood that Cilla paid to have the operation privately after deciding she no longer wanted to let the loss of hearing affect her work.

Read more from the MailOnline.

Ofcom approves BT’s Next Generation Text service

BT is pleased that Ofcom has approved its next generation text service (NGT) that will improve telephone calls for consumers with hearing and/or speech impairments. 

The enhanced service, which launches on 18th April, will enable people to make a call and type & read, speak & read, or type & hear the conversation via the NGT app. It will mean people can communicate in text using an internet connected device (PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone) and have the support of a relay assistant if required. The app will initially be available for use with Android mobile phones with an iPhone app to launch in the summer following Apple approval.

Those who prefer to continue to use their textphones as before will still be able to do so. More information will be available on the new NGT website for launch.

Update: 17.4.14

Due to safety issues, BT will not be launching the Next Generation Text Relay (NGT) service for people with hearing and speech impairments as planned on 18 April. Extensive pre-launch testing has identified an issue with the sound quality on calls to the emergency services. This situation means potentially life affecting information is not being relayed effectively and could put end users at risk.

Keep up to date with this topic: visit www.textrelay.org and www.ngts.org.uk.


Hot on the heels of the success of the ‘Bare-faced selfie’ raising over £8 milion ound for charity in eight days, Hearing Link invites you to get involved with our #earselfie campaign – a fun way to raise funds to towards our vital work supporting individuals and families living with hearing loss in the UK.

To join in on Twitter -  take an ear ‘selfie’ (self portrait) and share your pic on Twitter, including the hashtag #earselfie. Then make a donation to Hearing Link by texting ‘HEAR55 £2’ to 70070. The Hearing Link Twitter account is @HearingLink make sure you include us in your tweet for a retweet!  Why not try and get your favourite celebrities involved by asking them – via #earselfienominate - to tweet a photo of their ear and to make a donation to 70070?

To join in via Facebook, add your photo to our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HearingLink

As well as donating via text to 70070, donations can be made online at: http://www.justgiving.com/hearinglink or, if tweeting the link, you can use the shortened URL: http://bit.ly/1rXIZVf

To spot your photo visit our #earselfie page.

Joanne Milne has cochlear implants: news from Daily Mail Online

Joanne Milne suffers from the rare condition Usher Syndrome. It left her deaf since birth and in her mid-20s it claimed her sight. Last month the 40-year-old underwent a life-changing operation to have cochlear implants fitted. She waited anxiously for four weeks before they could be switched on.

Overcome with emotion, fighting back the tears and gasping for breath. Ms Milne breaks down as her doctor recites the days of the week. She said the switch on had been the 'most emotional and overwhelming' experience of her life.

Read more about this story on the Daily Mail Online.

Facts, videos, personal testimonies about cochlear implants from the Hearing Link website.

Arriva champions driving deaf awareness forward

A bus company has become the North East region's first travel provider to boast 'deaf aware champions' thanks to a national Get Deaf Aware campaign.

Eight Arriva North East employees attended the Get Deaf Aware (GDA) training course which aims to increase awareness of the everyday communication barriers faced by people with a hearing loss and included practical exercises as well as examples of clearer communication methods.

Tony Hart, training and development manager for Arriva North East is thrilled that their customers can now benefit from this training. He said, “We recognise the importance of training frontline staff to deal with the specific needs of each customer. We now have eight 'Deaf Aware Champions' who can ensure that Arriva maintains first class customer service for people who are deaf or have a hearing loss.

More from the Hearing Times.

Jean-Christophe Novelli: 'I'm losing my hearing'

Jean-Christophe Novelli, the award-winning chef, has disclosed that he is suffering from severe hearing loss exacerbated by his years in noisy kitchens.

The clanging of stainless steel, the clatter of washing up and the stream of yelled instructions are part and parcel of restaurant life.

It was only when Novelli began struggling to grasp conversations or follow TV programmes that he suspected he had a problem.

Still, the 53-year-old remained in denial about his condition, believing that he was too young to be suffering from deafness. He finally received a diagnosis late last year of age-related and noise-related severe hearing loss.

A hearing aid has transformed Novelli’s life. Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph, the chef has decided to talk about his condition for the first time to encourage over-50s to seek help.

More on this story from the Daily Telegraph.

Natural sound experience for hearing-impaired people

Siemens has presented a new hearing aid for people whose hearing is severely impaired. The hearing aid is so thin that it can even fit behind the ear of a hearing-impaired baby.

One of the reasons why the new device is one-third narrower than its predecessor is that it is equipped with extremely high-performance microchips. The thorough updating of the Nitro product line has also made Siemens' BestSound technology available to severely hearing-impaired people. The technology is highly regarded among experts.

The new device offers an unprecedented sound volume even at the high amplification required for severely hearing-impaired users. The new Nitro will become available in Germany and other markets over the next weeks.

More on this story from Medical press.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Event at Newcastle University 2014

Newcastle University is working in partnership with Raising Aspirations for a Deaf Learner Event at Newcastle University on Monday 28th April 2014 from 10am – 3pm.
This event is combined with Raising Aspirations - Newcastle University, University of Sunderland and Northumbria University and  for all D/deaf and hard of hearing people aged 14+ who are wanting to find out about going onto university.
The event is free to attend and lunch is provided. All parents, carers, tutors and support workers are welcome aswell.
During the event there will be presentations from student finance, careers advice, student life and also a tour of the university. There is also opportunity to meet with deaf role models who will share their experiences of university life.
There will be a tour of the university along with workshops and engagement activities.

Web: www.deaf-fellowship.org
Email: alison@deaf-fellowship.org
Office: 0161 945 6058
Mobile/text:07923 907 359

Cochlear ear implants for adults: experts call for review

A nationwide study should be carried out into the devices that could help adults who are profoundly deaf in both ears to hear, according to experts.

Bilateral cochlear implants are prosthetic devices that make use of electrode arrays surgically implanted in the cochlea of the inner ear to provide a sense of sound to those with profound hearing loss.

Together with therapy, they allow children born without hearing to develop excellent speech and language and enable adults to overcome feelings of isolation. A single implant allows users to perceive speech and sounds. However, a second enables users to locate the sounds enhances speech perception in bustling environments and ensures that, should one device fail, the user is not thrown into a silent world.

But guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) allow bilateral implantation in adults only if they have a second disability, such as blindness, that makes them more reliant on hearing.

More on this story from The Guardian.

Hearing Link survey: How can hearing loss be easier to manage?

You can help shape the services that Hearing Link offers and you can help us to understand more about what matters to you by completing our new survey.

The results will be powerful in influencing our thinking and our actions so please take some time to fill it in. Your views count.

We want to gather as much feedback as possible by the end of February 2014. Many thanks for your involvement.

Please complete the survey here.

InteRACT at the Royal Academy, London

InteRAct events for deaf, deafened and hard of hearing visitors will continue throughout the year involving a variety of talks and tours for main shows with lipspeaking support.

Either book your tickets here http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/events/talks/ or purchase them at the ticket desk as you arrive on the day.

Walks & talks for lipreaders in London

Programme of walks in 2014.

  • May 18th  Regent’s Park Walk
  • July 20th Brompton Cemetery
  • September 21st Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
  • November 23rd Passport to Pimlico & Tate Britain

Contact lynne.dubin@virgin.net for further information. 


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The Limping Chicken

UK news website - Opinion, Features, Secret Deafie, Deaf Dad

Hearing Times

Hearing Times are pleased to announce the launch of their new website, which will offer deaf and hard of hearing news, features and comment, updated daily. There are many features including local, national and international news, BSL video, and sections for arts, literature, health, education and product reviews.



Emergency SMS Service

Emergency SOS for people with hearing loss

This service allows deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired people in the UK to send a SMS text message to the UK 999 service where it will be passed to the police, ambulance, fire rescue or coastguard. It costs nothing to register for this service. 

Here is the web link http://www.emergencysms.org.uk/

News in Scotland 

Hearing Link Registered Charity Number 264809 Registered Charity Number in Scotland SC037688