Registered Charity no. 218341  |   Telephone: 01872 225 868


Registered Charity no. 218341  |  01872 225 868  |

Browse Aloud

Deafness, the hidden disability

Are you a deaf person whose stress bucket is overflowing right now?

Tinnitus, zoom fatigue, visual overload and even accessing your GP through a screen are all having their impact. There used to be a saying, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away!” Right now, we seem to be suffering from both Apple and “app” overload but some of them can give you a boost as well!

Here’s a few ideas:

  • In your face? – Yes, it’s true, we don’t really like looking at ourself all the time and it is actually quite tiring. Why not hide your face, in “zoom” or “teams”, so that you can concentrate on other people’s lips and, use speaker view on the gallery.
  • Don’t be embarrassed to ask for assurance that the meeting you plan to attend will offer captioning or check out the various PC options and
  • Download useful apps onto your phone that will help you such as “Live Transcribe” on android or “Petralex” or “”
  • Turn on “Closed Captions” on your windows 10 computer
  • Ask for a copy of notes and or/recording.
  • Ask for some time-out if you are struggling to absorb information (probably everyone else wants it as well!)
  • Make use of the new products like Alexa and Portals to help boost the visuals.

Invest in hearing assistive devices for conversation, phone calls etc. “Access to Work” may be able to help you with funding if you are in employment.
Contact Seetec Pluss if you feel you need a job that will support your hearing loss -

Did you know?

While "Attend Anywhere" is the most popular application, Zoom is an online application that can be used to run video conferences. Deaf people seem to have a clear preference for Zoom.

Video quality is superior on Zoom for people who rely on visual communication, lip reading and facial expressions. Furthermore, using split screens (not available on all video conferencing platforms) enables equal access to deaf and hearing people and allows interpreters to be visible.

While Zoom has not been assured nationally by NHS Digital as a secure video conferencing tool, their guidance is that this does not mean it should not be used. However, it is important to note that it is an organisation’s own responsibility to perform risk assessments on any products that are used and ensure that appropriate security safeguards are in place.

What the disability community can teach us about working remotely - Microsoft Accessibility Blog

Disability Answer Desk | Microsoft Accessibility

Factsheet on hearing loss and computing 

British Sign Language (BSL) users, please look for our Mental Wellbeing BSL videos:

What is mental health?

Coronavirus and mental wellbeing

Everyone has a different level of hearing loss and it can be very expensive to purchase a product which then proves to be ineffective – so please make sure you get good advice. Here are some resources/suppliers:

Bellman UK

Hearing Products International Limited 

Doorbells for people with hearing loss

Connevans Hearing assistive products

Sarabec Hearing assistive products

Quick Fact

Telephone Placement 

  • To hear with a hearing aid on the phone, hold the telephone near the hearing aid microphone, if you have a behind the ear hearing aid this will be behind your ear.

Get in the loop! Our Phonak Wireless Listening Device  is available to hire for functions, meetings and public events, Hearing Loss Cornwall can provide a Phonak Wireless Listening Device with a Roger Pen MyLink bundle which comes with a range of functions and uses. We also have a clip-on mic now available. It can be used to amplify sound and feed it directly to hearing aids in a variety of situations. It comes with a Roger Pen which acts as the transmitter. This is a microphone which can pick up directional sound, whilst reducing background noise. This is perfect in a conversation or a meeting, where it can be placed on a table or held by the speaker. The sound is picked up by compatible Phonak digital hearing aids, or by the MyLink Neckloop receiver which is worn around your neck. All you need to do to hear the sounds picked up from the Roger Pen is make sure that  hearing aids are set to "loop" or "T-setting". 

In a large group, sitting round a table - Stick the Roger Pen on the table and it will automatically switch to an omni-directional mode so that the person with hearing loss can hear everyone 
sat around.

Listening to a presentation - Give the Roger Pen to the lecturer or tour guide so that the deaf person can hear as clearly as if they were standing next to the speaker. The Roger Pen comes with a lanyard for easy wearing too. Due to the nature of the product we do have to request a deposit payment in advance of any loan and, ideally, as much notice as possible is required, so that you can rely on it being available. It is easy to set up and discreet with no wires involved. Full details here.

Hearing Loss Cornwall were delighted to receive funding from the ERDF Smartline Project to launch a new service loaning the excellent digital hearing assistive device called the Roger Pen and Mylink. 

Portable Induction Loop System - We also have a portable induction loop system available for hire from the office. This is a specialised type of amplifier kit which allows a hearing aid user to hear, with ease, within a group meeting at any indoor venue of up to 50 square metres. It comes with full instructions on how to use the portable induction loop system.

Portable Table-Top Loop is also available. This is only suitable for a one-on-one conversation in close proximity. If you are interested in finding out more, including availability, costs, or to make a booking of this hearing loop system, simply contact the office. Let us know what you require, when and where you will need the support.

The Equality Act 2010 says that organisations who provide services for the public must take reasonable measures to make sure those services are accessible to disabled people including those who are deaf or hard of hearing. This normally means providing some communication support.

Induction Loop SystemsKeeping you in the loop

You may need a more comprehensive hearing loop system and need qualified technicians who are trained to install and support AFILS Induction Hearing Loop Systems. Experts at Kernow Installations, have extensive knowledge and experience providing simple and complex low-spill loops. They can  quote for the installation of Hearing Loop Equipment into Public Venues throughout Cornwall ensuring the equipment is setup correctly and fully tested.

These specialists also provide Wireless Hearing Solutions, ideal should you wish to ensure privacy within a designated space e.g. council chamber or a consultation room. This is also an ideal solution where neighbouring rooms need separate systems. This same technology is also highly suited to tour guide systems in museums and other leisure attractions.

HLC have been working on projects with Penlee Gallery, Royal Cornwall Museum, The National Trust, Cornwall Council and others to help improve the hearing experience.

Relay UK -  Everybody's talking Here is a link to information and guidance on how to use the modern Relay UK textphone system which takes over from the previous Next Generation Text.  Relay UK brings relay services for deaf, hard-of-hearing, and speech-impaired people right up to date with the latest app technology.  You don't need any special kit – just download the app from the App Store or Google Play onto your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Conversations are easy to manage and relaxed. For fluent communication with anyone, anywhere, use Relay UK. You can contact Hearing Loss Cornwall on our normal phone number simply by adding 18001 as a prefix to our normal number 01872 225868. Download Relay UK information

Bellman & Symfon

Some information about products and technology

How to connect a TV listener to your television

RNID Comparing different video conferencing

Making ZOOM accessible

Lipreading by AI - read this fascinating article

“If your reflex is everyone feels lonely sometimes, you would be right. But you would also be understating the loneliness we feel.”

Become a member

Find out about joining us today and supporting people with hearing loss

find out more