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      General Election 2019 – Action on Hearing Loss calls to the Next Government

      Why does this election matter to people with hearing loss?

      In the UK, 1 in 6 of us are deaf or have hearing loss and with an ageing population, this is set to rise to 1 in 5 by 2035. We’re calling for the next Government to take action to address this major public health issue. Action is vital because:

    • One in four people of working age with hearing loss are out of employment
    • Only two thirds of those who could benefit from hearing aids have them
    • Hearing loss is the largest modifiable risk factor for dementia
    • What will Action on Hearing Loss being doing?

      After the General Election Action on Hearing Loss will continue to campaign and challenge the Government to remove the barriers society places in front of people with hearing loss. Change needs to occur across society, but there are three priority areas on which we want the next Government to show leadership.

      What are our three key areas?

      • Employment
      • Health and Social Care
      • Improve access to services

      Employment

      What progress do we want to see by 2024?

      People with deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss have equal opportunities in the workplace so that they can fulfil their potential.

      What does the Government need to do?

      • Establish an ambitious target to increase disability employment backed by a clear strategy to support disabled people, including those living with deafness and hearing loss, into work
      • Deliver a disability employment hub to providers employers with information on how to attract, recruit and retain staff living with deafness and hearing loss
      • Reform Access to Work to allow people with hearing loss to co-design their unique packages of support in order to meet their individual needs

      Why?

      • There are approximately 5 million working-age people in the UK with some level of hearing loss – that’s around 12 in every 100 employees
      • One in four people of working age with hearing loss are out of employment
      • People with hearing loss earn more than £2,000 less than individuals with health conditions – even when accounting for age and education
      • In our YouGov poll of business leaders 35% said that they would not be confident communicating with a staff member with hearing loss
      • Half of those people with hearing loss who received Access to Work said that the support did not meet at least some of their needs

      Health and Social Care

      What progress do we want to see by 2024?

      People with hearing loss are able to access high quality health and social care services – utilising the latest technology to meet their needs.

      What does the new Government need to do?

      • Improve access to audiology services and ensure more people benefit from hearing aids
      • Utilise new and emerging technology so audiology services meet the needs of people with hearing loss and are ready for the challenge of the ageing society
      • Ensure that reform of social care meets the cultural needs of deaf people and offers preventative services and equipment to those with hearing loss

      Why?

      • On average it takes ten years for people to seek help with their hearing loss.
      • Only two thirds of those who could benefit from hearing aids have them
      • The effective treatment of hearing loss could prevent the onset of other conditions such as dementia and depression
      • New technology could allow people with hearing loss to access self-fitting hearing aids and undertake assessments remotely
      • Hearing aids cost under £380 over a three year pathway

      Improve access to services

      What progress do we want to see by 2024?

      People with hearing loss don’t face constant barriers accessing everyday goods and services and society demonstrates increased deaf awareness

      What does the new Government need to do?

      • Mandate the provision of subtitles and signing on on-demand TV content using the legislation passed as a result of our Subtitle It! campaign
      • Ensure that health and social care services record and meet the preferred communication needs of people with hearing loss and deafness – as required in law by the Accessible Information Standard.

      Why?

      • Only 28% of on-demand services accessed via a set-top box or streaming stick offered viewers any subtitles
      • 71% of people with hearing loss said they feel they’ve missed out on, or been left out of, conversations with their friends or family because of a lack of subtitles on on-demand services.
      • 64% of people who are deaf or have hearing loss feel unclear about health advice after their GP appointments, at least some of the time.

      How you can help?

      The biggest campaigning asset that Action on Hearing Loss has is the passion and experience of our supporters. Our campaigns are defined by your experiences and your desire to tear-down the most frustrating barriers that society puts in your way. We work with our campaigns network to research the most important subjects for us to campaign on, define the objectives we work towards and then bring forward the testimony of lived experience through people powered campaign actions.

      To get e-mail updates about the campaigning work we do and to join our network of supporters in calling for social change please join our Campaigns Network.