Vision PK is continuing to offer its support to sensory impaired people across Highland Perthshire with remote help.
Their service comes on behalf of Perth and Kinross Council for people with sight impairment and hearing loss.
Rhona Campbell, the service’s hearing loss support officer, says that her job ‘has changed massively’ over the lockdown.
She explained: “Previously I would be out and about all over Perth and Kinross, I have clients in Kinloch Rannoch, Pitlochry, Aberfeldy, all over, and I would normally go visit them at home to see how they are coping and if they needed support.
“So, this is people who’ve already addressed their hearing loss, so they’ve been to the doctor, they’ve been to audiology and they’ve got hearing aids.
“But sometimes that’s just not enough, so they need a bit more support, so I would come out to see how they’re coping what they need support with and see if I’ve got any equipment that would help.”
This work is a part of a partnership with the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) who ‘campaign for an inclusive society, connect people to practical advice, and pioneer new treatments for hearing loss and tinnitus’ across the country and in Perth and Kinross.
For now, they’re continuing their support over the phone with simple everyday help which might not be very obvious to someone without an impairment.
But it’s not an insignificant amount of people says Rhona Campbell, within an averaged sized family there is a very high chance at least one person will have problems they don’t appreciate.
Rhona Campbell said: “Quite often it’s not the person with the hearing loss, it’s the family members who are noticing the difference.
“And if you bear in mind that one in five adults are either deaf or have hearing loss, that’s a large part of the population.
“And also 70 per cent of adults over 70 will just have aged related hearing loss, so it’s something we really should be bearing in mind.”
When it comes to the festive season this month, Rhona Campbell has some advice for people to help make sure no one feels out because of their disadvantage.
She suggested: “Especially around this time of year, thinking about your Christmas dinner, so if you have someone with hearing loss it’s very hard for someone with hearing loss to be in a large group with lot’s of people talking.
“So there’s a few simple things you can do, one is ask the person where they want to sit on the table.
“They may well have a good ear that hears better so they would rather sit in a specific seat.
“And ideally, if you can have your dinner at a round table then it’s easier to lip read, if you’re at a round table.
“And maybe have the person with hearing loss being able to sit with their back against the wall, so that they’re not picking up sound from all around the room.”
Some of the ways which Vision PK can help is by making sure the right equipment is with people with an impairment.
One way they can do this is by offering a specially designed door bell with a ‘flashing light’ and ‘nice loud ring.’
Or other basic day to day utilities such a smoke alarms which otherwise wouldn’t be heard without a hearing aid while someone is sleeping.
More information about Vision PK can be found on their website: https://visionpk.org.uk/
Alternatively, people can reach them on their number: 01738 626969
And they can be contacted on their email: firstname.lastname@example.org