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Jackie White interviewed on UTV 16 February 2012

First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness of Northern Ireland with Action on Hearing Loss Director Jackie Whyte.

Jackie White, our Director in Northern Ireland, talks about the launch of our Northern Ireland headquarters on UTV

The video from UTV can be found on the UTV website(external link, opens new window).

You can also download the transcript of the UTV interview(PDF 212k, opens new window).

You can download a free PDF viewer(external link, opens new window) from the Adobe website.

News reader

Well joining me in the studio is Jackie White, Chief Executive of Action on Hearing Loss*. Jackie few members of the public would have been aware up until now that both of them politician’s had hearing problems, is that indicative of how many people do actually suffer?

Jackie White

I think that the numbers of people living with hearing loss in Northern Ireland are absolutely staggering. We estimate that there are 300,000 people that’s one sixth of the population in Northern Ireland are living with some form of hearing loss and when I talk about hearing loss I mean it’s across a spectrum, ranging from people with a very mild hearing loss, people with tinnitus, people who have become deafened and in date the profoundly deaf community who we would all know use sign language.

News reader

Well has the fact that these politician’s have lent their name to your campaign, has that been a boost for you?

Jackie White

It is just so hugely welcomed by us because there is such as stigma attached to hearing loss. Many people out there suspect  that they do have a hearing loss but aren’t terribly forthcoming about sharing that with indeed family or friends or people in their work place, because of the stigma attached people feel embarrassed so today we’ve had such leadership from our First and Deputy First Minister in terms of revealing about their own hearing loss and indeed how they’ve coped with that and I think the real message for everybody is that deafness or hearing loss don’t need to limit opportunity or label anyone.

News reader

Jackie thank you very much indeed.

Jackie White

Thank you very much.

*Jackie White is the Director of Action on Hearing Loss Northern Ireland.

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