Join Winslow Hard of Hearing Group for Deaf Awareness Week

In the run-up to Deaf Awareness Week from May 2 to 8, Winslow’s Hard of Hearing group is inviting new members to come along.

By Hannah Richardson
Tuesday, 26th April 2022, 12:19 pm

Being deaf or hard of hearing is an invisible condition that causes much inconvenience and can lead to feelings of isolation, stress and anxiety.

Winslow’s Hard of Hearing Group was set up more than two years ago by a group of volunteers from the Winslow Big Society Group.

Spokesperson Diana Slevin said: “As people get older, the percentage of us that have some form of hearing loss goes up and up.

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The group meets once a month in Winslow Community Library

"Just sharing the hints and tips that we’ve collectively found between us has made an enormous difference.

"Someone will say: ‘I’ve got this bit of kit,’ and others will say: ‘I didn’t know it existed.’

"The things you’re entitled to get from the NHS – it’s very difficult for the audiologist to tell you everything in one go, or even to take it all in.”

Everyday activities such as having to phone for a doctor’s appointment or even shopping can be severely impacted for deaf people.

And the Covid pandemic and the wearing of face masks made life even more difficult for people who could no longer lip read.

“It was extremely difficult,” said Diana.

"But one one positive, if you like, was that people with no hearing problem came to realise how much they did a bit of lip reading without realising it, so they were more sympathetic.”

Group meetings are held once a month, usually on the first Thursday of the month, from 2.30pm to 4pm in Winslow Community Library – but please check first.

As well as sharing helpful ideas and support, the group hosts invited speakers, which have included the health centre, Bucks Audiology, the Bucks Integrated Sensory Services Unit, a retired ENT surgeon and Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.

The group is also campaigning for more shops and public spaces in Winslow to install hearing loops, and members are learning sign language.

The next meeting is on May 5.

Diana said: “Don’t be shy, come along, you might pick up some hints and tips.

"And the more people we have on the case, the more we can get better facilities for people with a hearing problem.”

For more information email [email protected] or text/call 07803 174583.