:: AdelaideNow… | Open ear to plight of the deaf ::

Open ear to plight of the deaf

April 05, 2007 02:15am MITCHAM will be the first “Deafness Friendly City” in the state through a partnership between Deaf SA and the council.

The Deaf SA “hi” deafness-friendly program, designed to improve the quality of life and public awareness of the needs of people with hearing impairment, will run until August, Mayor Ivan Brooks said yesterday.
Using survey feedback from people with hearing loss, their carers, families, businesses and service providers, the project will establish best-practice guidelines for local government areas.

“We are trying to set an example for fellow councils, industry, commerce and retail,” Mr Brooks said.

He said a focus would be the installation of technologies to assist deaf people, such as a Hearing Loop in the council chambers into which people with hearing aids could “switch in to” to make meetings more audible. Special telephones, modified to eliminate distortion and block out background noise, also would feature.

Two counter-hearing systems were installed in council’s customer service area and library last year. Council’s social planner Bern Colville, 60, who uses a hearing aid, said the phones were useful in his professional role.

“The system allows me to communicate easily with customer service staff to better access council’s facilities,” he said.

“It is great to work in an organisation that provides opportunities through facilities and services to assist me with hearing to help me better communicate within the working environment.”

More information is available on the council’s website www.mitchamcouncil.sa.gov.au/goto/deaf

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