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#1 Posted : 21 May 2001 10:40:00(UTC)
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Posted By Richard Trotter We have an employee who works in an office environment and part of her work involves answering phones. She suffers from bilateral sensorineural hearing loss and would benefit from amplification. However, a conventional analogue hearing aid would not be of much use as it is difficult for these to cope with severely sloping losses. She has been advised to try a digital hearing aid but these cost about £6000!. Does anyone have any experience of these and is there any agency or charity which would assist with the costs? Many thanks Richard
#2 Posted : 21 May 2001 14:00:00(UTC)
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Posted By Diane Warne Richard, I have the same condition as your colleague. It sounds as though she has not been properly assessed for hearing aids. This is essential as a first step. She should ask her GP to refer her to the local hospital's audiology department and should ask for hearing aids. A few of them are offering digital aids (pilot scheme only at the moment.) They will also be able to advise her on other equipment e.g. telephone amplifiers. There is no charity or other funding to enable people to get digital hearing aids, but they are not all as expensive as you suggest. Be aware, though, that hearing aids may well not be the answer. They take a lot of getting used to and have serious limitations. If you want to discuss further please email me directly. I myself have analogue NHS aids which enable me to cope with normal conversation, but are completely useless for the phone. I cope fine without my hearing aid with a decent digital phone. One with a volume control is ideal. Once again I urge you to get this lady to go to the hearing aid clinic, where they can advise on the best device to help her with telephone use. Of course, the cost of providing a more suitable handset or an amplifier must be met by the employer. Regards Diane
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