Colourful Hearing Aids Available From All Audiology Departments

When I transferred to adult audiology a few months ago I discovered that the only hearing aids available were NHS standard issue beige coloured ones. While I can see that many people will be happy with this inconspicuous option their are many deaf children, teens and adults who would rather have the opportunity to express themself through their hearing aids with bright colours.

I was told that the only people given colourful aids were those with additional learning difficulties or those with mental health issues. What about those of us who simply want to look cool, funky and gain confidence from treating our aids as accessories.

One of the biggest issues is the post code lottery involved, it really does seem to depend on where you live. For example in Worcester colourful aids are available but go to Selly Oak HARC and suddenly the only aids given out are beige coloured.

There are another couple of issues with this lack of access to colourful aids...

  • Audiology argue that having beige aids is inconspicuous - I haven't met many people with beige coloured skin.. If we're arguing for inconspicuous you could say that people with dark skin should be given brown aids.
  • Confidence issues, I might be technically an adult in medical eyes but I've only just finished school. I want aids that are colourful and make me confident to wear my hair up and feel "cool" rather than old personish...

I'm sure that individuals can come up with many more arguments for access to colourful hearing aids - I think it's clear that preventing people from picking colourful aids is unfair. They're not more expensive! They're exactly the same price...

In response to the common argument that people might have the aids and then decide after a few weeks they didn't like them meaning audiologists would be left with a set of coloured aids and noone to give them to I say... Why not hand out beige aids for the first few weeks as a trial? If after say 6 weeks the person is happy with the aids and using them well then switch the beige for colour.

Please sign the petition and ask your audiologist about supplying coloured aids! Even if you don't want them yourself many other deaf people do! We wear aids every day - and sometimes night! - surely there should bbe more choice of expression!!

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