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DeafHear.ie recognises that the media can play an important role in helping it to realise its vision of an inclusive society where Deaf and Hard of Hearing people are fully integrated, with equality of opportunity and participation.
The media can assist through highlighting issues directly affecting Deaf and Hard of Hearing people which are also matters of general public interest. This in turn can increase awareness of deafness, which is part of the solution towards achieving inclusiveness and participation.
In recent years, such issues include the long waiting lists for audiology services and the failure to introduce universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS). Other relevant issues include the level of subtitling and Irish Sign Language (ISL) on television, access to emergency services and health and safety in the home.
These matters can be of significant public interest: the introduction of UNHS would not only transform the lives of Deaf children, it would also save the taxpayer considerable sums of money. Regarding health and safety, DeafHear believes that in Ireland tens of thousands of people with acquired hearing loss cannot hear a conventional smoke alarm, particularly when they have removed their hearing aids at night. This obviously places them at considerable risk if they do not have an adapted smoke alarm.
DeafHear will provide spokespersons to comment on issues relevant to Deaf and Hard of Hearing people on request. For further information, please download the DeafHear.ie Media Information Pack below.
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