The Royal National Institute for the Deaf is to launch a major PR
push in a bid to alter deaf people's self-perception.
The campaign, now in the planning stage, will involve all communications
teams, including public affairs, media relations and campaigns, in a bid
to increase the use of digital hearing aids.
The move coincides with an expected nationwide rollout of a pilot scheme
to offer those with hearing-loss the new equipment for free.
Monique Warnock, deputy head of media relations, said: 'There is a
stigma within the deaf community in having a hearing aid. Some don't
want to wear one. A reason often is that people don't want to admit they
have hearing loss.'
'It's early stages but we aim to remove that stigma. This campaign will
be a major piece of work for us,' she added.
A starting date for the campaign has yet to be finalised as the charity
is still lobbying the Government to make the new equipment available
free throughout the UK.
Last year, following a lobbying push from the RNID, the Government put
in place a pilot scheme providing free digital aids in 20 NHS
Most of those using hearing aids are using 30-year-old analogue
equipment. Digital aids cost around £2,500 from private healthcare
Warnock said: 'Digital aids change lives. At the moment it's a postcode
lottery on whether you can get one.'
This latest PR push, to be headed by RNID head of communications Brian
Lamb, has been unveiled in the RNID's first Impact Report, released this
Other campaigns being planned include one to lobby the Government to
introduce better monitoring of schooling for the deaf and further PA
work to ensure a commitment to subtitling in the proposed Communications