RNID destigmatises hearing aids

Deafness charity RNID plans to ‘make wearing hearing aids as desirable and acceptable as wearing glasses’ via a combined advertising and PR campaign.

Last year the charity brought in former Cancer Research UK comms chief Susan Osborne to run the initiative (PRWeek, 8 July 2005).
'Breaking the sound Barrier' – unveiled in the week before Christmas – aims to capitalise on the increasing availability of high-tech digital hearing aids on the NHS.

The first phase of the campaign will target 40 to 45-year-olds, with subsequent promotion aimed at older age groups.

The core target is the four- million-strong group in the UK who take no action after noticing a loss of hearing.

Head of media Kate Sidwell said the RNID's in-house team had been liaising with the editors of society and health pages in national newspapers.

The results of an RNID-commissioned MORI survey of public perceptions of hearing loss are being tailored to appeal to regional press, Sidwell added.

A central news hook for the campaign is a specially developed free telephone hearing test developed by the University of Southampton, accessed by ringing 0845 600 5555.

The charity will draw attention to the plight of those who take no action after experiencing hearing loss and encourage these people to take the phone test.

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