Over the years I’ve developed a twitchy antennae for anything ‘hearing-loss’ related. I watch the latest news, follow the latest research, support campaigns and try to raise the profile of hearing loss generally. I’ve signed petitions and taken part in campaigns, organised loop squads, raised money, challenged discrimination when I see it and have been a what you might call ‘low-level agitator for change’ for some time.
But now I’ve decided that I’m ready, finally ready, to get out there and promote HEARING LOSS in big capital letters by volunteering to be a Trustee for Action on Hearing Loss.
Anyone with hearing loss knows that we all have to put up with so many things which are wrong – no subtitles on television and films, lack of understanding by the general public, threats to funding for hearing aids, noisy environments, feeling left out of conversations …. the list is endless.
Coming out of the ‘hearing disability’ closet is never easy – there have definitely been some highs and lows – but as I’ve ventured further out into the light and actually begun to take a lead in raising the profile of this invisible disability, I’ve realised I want to help those millions of people, just like me, who are still stuck in the shadows or not coping well with a life affected by hearing loss, tinnitus and deafness.
Action on Hearing Loss has fought hard to challenge these discriminations for more than 100 years (the RNID was started in 1911). I’m proud to be a member of this outstanding organisation … but now I want to do more. I want to make discrimination on hearing loss obsolete, I want to help influence the movers and shakers who can make a difference to our world, I want to make life easier and better for TEN MILLION PEOPLE in the UK who find themselves struggling through no fault of their own.
And if this sounds like it’s a lot of “I want”, well that’s because it’s true. Yes I could bore you all silly with a recitation of my CV, my strategic and operational knowledge gained through the school of hard knocks and 30 years of working in the corporate, SME and third sectors. But it’s not about that – it’s not even about me at all really. It’s about YOU, about YOUR life, about the help YOU need to cope better with hearing loss, and about how I can help YOU.
I believe passionately that our world can be better, that with the help and support we need, we can all live a happier more fulfilling life, even if we have hearing loss.
So, if you’re a member of AOHL, and you can hear the passion in my voice and think to yourself: “that sounds like some-one I want in my corner,” then please put a cross next to my name in your ballot box and send your envelope back to AOHL as soon as you can. I don’t know everything, I’ll have a lot to learn, but I promise you this: if you vote for me, you’ll never regret it.