One of Signal’s first core areas of work is to increase awareness about hearing loss. Whether in an African country or in the UK you’ll find Signal at work increasing understanding and awareness, essential to end misconceptions and myths about hearing loss.
The right to access services (e.g. education and health) and the workplace should always be fundamentally the same for everyone. However, people with hearing loss, wherever they live, are often denied these rights. Signal is at work to enable people with hearing loss to access services, so that they can have an equal platform and gain individual and collective empowerment.
The stigma of being deaf or having hearing loss often is a defining factor in how people interact with their family and community. Stigma can be debilitating and cause people to be ostracised and isolated from the very people who should be most supportive. You will find Signal at work helping to build bridges and breakdown cultural myths which hinder. Stigma will be reduced once people understand the causes and types of hearing loss, and are motivated to make change happen.
In the UK people who develop hearing loss in older life will often feel isolated from the people around them. In sub-Saharan Africa the same is the case for young children who are born with, or develop, hearing loss. The feeling of not being able to communicate with others or be understood means that people become withdrawn, often leading to increased vulnerability. This can also increase the likelihood of developing mental health issues. Signal is working to bring people together to combat isolation.
This is no simple answer to all the complex problems faced by people with a hearing loss. Signal works holistically, which means that we work in different ways with different people based on varying needs and the local situation. You will find Signal at work with a large and representative range of individuals and groups so that we can respond appropriately and sustainably to tackle some of the underlying issues.