We used questions drawn from the work of various strategy working groups on public attitudes, equality and shaping health and social care. The aim was to draw out people’s experiences of hearing loss and their views on our organisational priorities. We produced two versions: written English and British Sign Language.
We distributed the survey online, a great way for us to reach large numbers of our supporter base quickly – though not those people who don’t use digital channels. More than 800 people responded, providing valuable insight to inform our new five-year strategy.
In some areas, the survey confirmed what we already knew about the challenges and barriers that people with hearing loss face, such as difficulties finding out about support services. It also revealed that there is support for the work we’re already doing, including fighting cuts to hearing aid provision and improving television services through Subtitle it!
The findings also highlighted areas we might consider for the future. For instance, people showed a good deal of interest in getting involved in how we fund biomedical research.
It’s also strikingly clear that people feel strongly about changing attitudes towards hearing loss. More than three-quarters of respondents felt we should make it a priority to improve public understanding of the barriers to communication people with hearing loss face every day.
The ‘Shaping our Future’ survey complements other projects that have been conducted as part of our programme of strategy research work. More details about these projects are available here