July 2020

Free badges to aid communication for people with hearing loss

As the wearing of face masks becomes mandatory in shops in England from Friday July 24th local hearing care specialists, The Hearing Care Centre are giving away badges to help support communication for people with hearing loss.

The company, which has 27 centres across Suffolk and Norfolk has specially produced the pin badges, which read “I have a hearing loss. Please speak clearly”.

Senior audiologist and founder of the company Karen Finch said “It has been shown that wearing a mask does decrease the ability for speech to be understood. This applies for people with normal hearing levels too, so for those with a hearing loss it can be a real problem. The mask acts as a filter that dampens the higher frequencies of speech, and can also interrupt the bookends of speech, the beginnings and ends of words.”

“People with hearing loss often become quite adept at compensating for it by looking closely at people when they speak, but with the introduction of masks it means that these visual cues have also gone.”

“We hope that our badges will help with communication issues for those that wear them by alerting shop assistants, or anyone else they need to communicate with, that they have an issue and that clear speech from the other person will greatly help.”

A limited number of pin badges are available free of charge to residents in Suffolk or Norfolk. They can be claimed online by visiting hearingcarecentre.co.uk/badge.