Hearing Link

Blog: Amy Morton – campaigning for an inclusive roadmap out of lockdown

Hello for those of you who don’t know me, my name is Amy, I’m married with two young children. I’ve had a severe hearing loss in both ears since birth although wasn’t diagnosed till I was nearly four years old.

In October last year, I set up Living with Hearing Loss and I have been raising awareness on how the pandemic is affecting the hearing loss community. (Read Amy’s first blog post here)

New website

I recently launched a new website (www.livingwithhearingloss.co.uk) to help grow the campaign throughout the UK. It is packed full of easy to use, downloadable materials, making it easier for people to get involved. I hope this will help recruit more establishments to get on board with my ‘Clarity in Communication’ campaign which I hope will help make the road map out of lockdown a more inclusive one for the 1 in 5 who are deaf and have hearing loss.

Driving forward

The campaign has been very positively received and here is some of the feedback I’ve received from businesses…

James from Summit Chiropractic said: “When we first heard of the campaign from Amy, it struck us that this could be a major factor in our client’s comfort and confidence when visiting our clinic. We have a number of clients who are hard of hearing or deaf. When we introduced the lipreading friendly scheme and started using the see through (transparent) masks I think they breathed a sigh of relief as communication was made much easier due to the ability to lipread using these masks. The response from many clients who previously hadn’t mentioned that they had some hearing loss has been positive, with a large number of people saying they felt reassured that their needs were being met without the awkward conversation of lowering a mask or avoiding the subject and struggling to communicate all together. I think the issue of being unable to lipread when using a mask has been underestimated and we understand how it can be quite uncomfortable for anyone visiting a business where they cannot communicate due to hearing loss. We think this is an amazing campaign and initiative that Amy has started, and we fully support her in this!”

There has also been some great feedback from the hearing loss community:

Rosie said: “I went to get some coffees and hot chocolates and saw a [Amy’s] poster there. It just meant I didn’t have to have that worry walking in or awkwardness in conversing. Places like coffee shops are especially hard because the machines are noisy so being able to ask them to lower their masks knowing they wouldn’t mind made my experience SO much easier! It means I can hear more and lipread. I thanked them for putting the poster up! A small gesture from them made a massive difference to me and means I’ll go back there rather than another place in future.”

It has been such an honour to represent my community and to try and see how I can make things a little bit easier for us all.

Working together

I have also been collaborating with Hearing Link in offering the incredible badge “If you need to lipread me, please let me know” and the feedback has been fantastic! It is such a simple badge and words can make a huge difference to all of us who are experiencing this communication barrier. Unfortunately, whilst masks are around, this will be a common problem for people with hearing loss, but through awareness comes compassion; and with compassion comes clarity in communication for all!

Please don’t give up hope in this situation the more awareness of the issues we face, the easier it will be I promise.

Please consider joining forces with Clarity in Communication campaign and help towards spreading the message. Help make the roadmap out
of lockdown a more inclusive one for YOU.

You can join the campaign by heading to: https://livingwithhearingloss.co.uk/campaign-clarity-in-communication/

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