We’re feeling really positive here at Hearing Wales as awareness about hearing loss and deafness seems to be growing exponentially.
Straight off the back of World Hearing Day on March 3rd, the issue was pushed spectacularly into the limelight when a film about childhood deafness starring a little British deaf girl took an Academy Award.
The Maisie Effect
Six year-old Maisie Sly who stars in British short film “The Silent Child”, gave us all a renewed interest in the whole tired awards buzz. Her film tells the story of a girl who is profoundly deaf and lives her life in silence until a social worker teaches her how to use British Sign Language, opening up her world.
Sign Language was given real prominence both in the film itself and during the awards themselves as both writer and actress Rachel Shenton and Maisie’s father Gilson used it in front of a global audience.
Also bringing hearing loss into the news over the last week was another little British girl. Three-year-old Dixie Harris-Sandstrom wears hearing aids, and now her doll does too.
Dixie, who is from London, has taken the internet by storm with her reaction to her custom-made doll which sports a bright blue hearing aid just like she does.
Her mother, Amy Harris-Sandstrom, said she made the special purchase to help her daughter feel like she fit in.
“I wanted to show Dixie that other children are like her too,”
Harris-Sandstrom told Caters News.
“I didn’t want her to think she was abnormal for having hearing aids, and I felt it was important to challenge the stereotype of how a normal doll should look.”
A growing issue
The growing prominence of hearing loss in the news agenda is long overdue when it’s a problem more and more people are facing worldwide.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 466 million people live with disabling hearing loss and by 2050 nearly one in 10 people are predicted to have hearing loss. That’s not only because we are living longer but also because many of us will experience hearing loss at a younger age than our parents or grandparents.
So what can you do? Avoiding noisy environments and testing your hearing regularly are among the most important ways to prevent your hearing from deteriorating quickly.