deafPLUS

DeafPlus

Service name: Living with a Hearing Loss

Service description

deafPLUS provides the Living with Hearing Loss service, and is funded by H&F Council. It includes access to free courses and support to manage hearing loss, and teaches how to improve communication between individuals and family and friends with one-to-one home visits, visits to residential homes, sheltered housing and day centres and workshops for other service providers

Funding until:

31 March 2021

Annual funding level

£12,000

In the past year the service has:

  • Supported 16 residents with programmes including lip-reading practice, listening practice, communication strategies, sharing the effects of a loss of hearing and learning about the anatomy and physiology of the ear    
  • End-of-course evaluation sheets report improved self-esteem, improved lip-reading skills and improved understanding of why speech is not always discriminated in challenging listening situations

Case studies:

  • An Afro-Asian male aged 61 with acquired hearing loss and a white female aged 88, born with partial hearing, shared their experiences and said how useful the lip-reading training had been, and how it had helped them both understand speech better… despite neither of them realising that they possessed lip-reading skills.
  • Another 88-year-old client attended all the classes. Born with partial hearing, she is illiterate and has very low self-esteem. But the training enabled her to realise that her hearing loss did not mean she was less able to make a meaningful contribution to conversations. She has turned out to be a brilliant lip reader, and the teachers have also learnt a lot from her about what it has been like going through life with severe hearing loss. ‘I explained the choice of equipment which can help with her hearing difficulties,’ explained one volunteer. ‘She was happy to find that some equipment benefited her a lot. When we said goodbye, we agreed it had been a mutual learning experience.’

Funding plans

  • With funding from City Bridge Trust, deafPLUS has set up a pan-London Living with Hearing Loss project at the Edward Woods community centre, attracting many new course users

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