Sensory Awareness Campaign
Hearing Healthcare Centre hosted a sensory awareness event over the weekend in the Guineas shopping centre, Newmarket. Visitors were invited to experience what it felt like to have sensory problems and understand the difficulties experienced by sufferers.
We had a number of simulations, each challenging the user with a new adversity.
Firstly, they were able to wear special gloves designed by Cambridge University which restricted hand movement, simulating arthritis of the hands, only without the discomfort which typically accompanies it.
If you listened to our radio show appearance on BBC Radio Cambridge, you’d of heard us speaking with presenter Chris Mann about a delightful cuddly toy! The toy was designed for children to learn how to dress themselves, and so features various zips, buckles, buttons and belts for them to manipulate.
We gave attendees the arthritis gloves and asked them to perform simple tasks on the cuddly toy such as undoing a button or doing up a zip. Much to our expectancy, the trivial tasks proved very difficult with the arthritis gloves on, with only a few of our attendees managing all of the tasks on the toy!
Simulation of eye defects was achieved by wearing special spectacles which demonstrated a gradual loss of eyesight. What’s more, is that the spectacles were flat and could be worn on top of each other, which allowed us to worsen the effects on eyesight with every layer added: giving people a real idea as to what it’s like to live with Glaucoma, Diabetic Retinopathy, Cataracts and many more!
Hearing loss was simulated by wearing ear moulds, which blocked out a great deal of sound so that the wearer was able to empathise with those who had hearing loss. Though hearing losses are dynamic, and a person can have normal hearing up to the point of damage, the moulds still proved useful for a flat hearing loss!
In fact, Newmarket Mayor Councillor Rachel Hood tried the moulds herself to test their effectiveness!
A Note From The Mayor Of Newmarket
Newmarket mayor: Councillor Rachel Hood was in attendance and experienced the simulated losses. She answered a few questions about her experience:
What made you decide to participate in Hearing Healthcare Centre’s Sensory Awareness Campaign?
“My Mother in law had a significant hearing loss and the Sensory Awareness Campaign services would have helped her!”
Do you know anyone who suffers from visual, dexterity or hearing impairments?
“Yes. Many people over 60, particularly men!”
Having attired yourself in the sensory deprivation gear, what were your first impressions?
“The services offered will help many people!”
How did you find the experience of having your senses deprived for the afternoon?
What were you expecting from the day? Did participating teach you anything?
“I wasn’t 100% but I have learned a lot about hearing loss, especially age-related, and other sensory issues.”
Which aspect of the sensory deprivation did you find most enlightening?
“The hearing loss/deafness!”
Which ailment was the most difficult to endure?
“The virtual reality sight machine.”
Do you think the experiment will succeed in raising awareness of the difficulties associated with aging, and help encourage empathy?
What sort of reactions did you get from people on the day?
Did you enjoy your experience of sensory deprivation?
“I enjoyed learning how many advances there have been recentlying in helping people with hearing and other sensory losses.”
A Final Note
Overall the event was a success, and we definitely raised awareness for physical ailments which are often overlooked. Both vision and hearing play a central role in a person’s life, so it’s of the utmost importance they are maintained.
For more information, please contact Hearing Healthcare Centre on 01223 360700, or visit us in Suite 3, Rookery House, The Guineas; just above the doctor’s surgery!