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Playing our part in Deaf Awareness Week

17 May 2018

How our Head of Pensions Heather Mawson is making a difference

Onyx the guide dog

This week is Deaf Awareness Week, which aims to raise awareness of hearing loss in the UK and its impact on people's lives.

Hearing loss is common and can affect people of any age. About 16% of adults in the UK have some degree of hearing loss. It is thought that half the general population above the age of 75 have some hearing loss. Children are the next most common group to be affected, usually due to fluid or infection in the middle ear but also due to congenital problems or viral illness during early childhood. Hearing loss can interfere with normal communication with others on a daily basis.

It's not always easy to tell if you're losing your hearing. The NHS has a list of symptoms and treatments. If you are unsure about your symptoms you should visit your GP.

If you are working with someone who has hearing loss there are a wide range of websites offering support and advice on the importance of deaf awareness, the different experiences of deafness and hearing loss and how it affects individuals.

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People train dogs to alert deaf people to sounds they would otherwise miss – simple sounds that many people take for granted like the doorbell, alarm clock and even danger signals like the fire alarm. Being aware of these – thanks to a hearing dog – makes a real difference to deaf people’s lives.

Heather Mawson, Head of Pensions, is currently making a difference as a volunteer puppy socialiser for Hearing Dogs. Her family are currently sharing their home with Onyx, who is destined one day to support a person with hearing loss.

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