I’ve been involved in the world 0f deaf and hearing-impaired people for over thirty years, much of that time from the managerial and technical side. I have lectured students, instructed, written technical papers, prepared audiology training courses, designed complex sound and inductive loop systems for major buildings, assessed and tested people, fitted hearing aid systems and provided counselling.
All very worthy, and relatively-easy, as I felt I was in charge. Just over a year ago I was honoured when appointed a Trustee of the Board of Directors of Hearing Concern Link. It is a national charity devoted to helping people to survive socially and psychologically after the onset of hearing loss.
The early Board meetings had been tough with the reduction in Government and Council funding, and most of the talk has been about money (or lack of it!). Although we seem to have turned the corner with the help of some funding from grateful people who had been helped, we cannot rest on any laurels.
The necessity of the work we do was vividly made evident to me at an organised meeting of some of our members one Saturday in Glasgow. This is one of a series of regular courses providing an opportunity for many folk with severe and not-so-severe hearing loss, to get together and learn from a facilitator, and each other. I think it is fair to say that most of us were over 21 by a long way!
Many practical subjects were covered, including personal security, available equipment, frustration and anger. What we didn’t have the time to cover were the effect of losing the ability to appreciate music.
This is a season full of music, so can I ask you think of those who for one reason or another are not able to hear the wonderful music we so love during the Christmas period.