According to the project’s organisers, it is probable that at least 50,000 Salford residents using hearing aids could benefit from the correct use of induction loops in stores, chemists, churches, public buildings and many more places.
It has been estimated that more than 75% of installed loops are not working throughout the UK and at many locations the staff have no idea how to use them.
A hearing loop is a special type of sound system for use by people wearing hearing aids. It emits a magnetic, wireless signal that is picked up when the aid is set to the Telecoil option.
When activated at a venue where there is a loop, it cuts out the clutter of outside noise providing a clearer conversation.
The project launch in Salford earlier this summer was a huge success, supported by NHS Audiology Salford, national charities Hearing Link and Action on Hearing Loss, as well as the Salford Royal Foundation Trust, Salford City Council and Salford Clinical Commissioning Group.
It has been estimated that more than 75% of installed loops are not working throughout the UK and at many locations the staff have no idea how to use them.”
Following a local advertising campaign, using social media and networking events, volunteers came forward to start checking induction loop installations.
The Let’s Hear Salford Steering group is made up of Rotary members, the public, and some Inner Wheel representatives with a real desire to help those with hearing loss in their community.
Volunteers received training to carry out loop checks with special hand-held testers and ask a series of five questions about the installations.
Whilst undergoing training, local volunteer and resident, Bernard Lea, discovered his own hearing aid was not fitted with the necessary ‘T’ switch.
Bernard, who is a former Salford City Mayor, is now enjoying a whole new hearing experience after the NHS quickly made a small modification.
Recently, Rotary member Mike Collier, the leader of Let’s Hear Salford project, started a dialogue with Co-op Headquarters with the aim of improving their store facilities for those with hearing loss.
Mike said: “I have had a really enthusiastic response from senior management in Manchester with a view to rolling out a Co-op checklist for induction loops in stores, throughout the UK.”
Let’s Hear Salford is one of several Let’s Hear groups which have been established in the UK by the charity Hearing Link, a number of them directly involving Rotary clubs.