I in 5 adults in Northern Ireland have some form of hearing loss.
Ahead of the Northern Ireland Assembly election, we ask for your support for 5 important issues that can make a real difference.
1. Tackle audiology waiting times
People who need a hearing aid are waiting over 2 years to be fitted. They are nearly twice as likely to experience acute loneliness, and are more likely to get dementia, as a result.
2. Equal access to mental health services
74% of people with hearing loss report that they have felt sad, anxious or stressed during much of the last year. It’s vital that mental health services provide equal access to support and treatment.
3. Remote healthcare appointments
Many people with hearing loss cannot use the telephone, or find videocalls difficult to follow. Health care appointments should be provided in a way that meets an individual’s access needs, such as face-to-face appointments, or with the appropriate communication support in place.
4. Unemployment and underemployment
Deaf people and those with hearing loss are more likely to be unemployed and underemployed.
British Sign Language (BSL) and Irish Sign Language (ISL) users being among those furthest from the labour market. Government needs to urgently provide sustainable funding for specialist employment support for deaf people.
5. A Sign Language Bill for Northern Ireland
This needs to be brought forward as soon as possible to secure the rights of BSL and ISL users to access services in their first language, and to enhance respect and understanding of the deaf community.
How you can help
Please show your support by asking your local Assembly candidate to support our asks.
You can Tweet your candidates and tag us @RNID.
Here’s some sample text to help you.
Hi [candidate’s name], as one of my candidates will you support @RNID’s asks ahead of the Northern Ireland Assembly elections?
Here’s some sample text to help.
Hi [candidate’s name],
As a potential constituent of yours I am asking if you will support RNID’s asks ahead of the Northern Ireland Assembly elections?