The Gibraltar Hearing Impaired and Tinnitus Association (GHITA) will today launch a new support group and survey to mark Deaf Awareness Week.
The survey will be launched at the Primary Care Centre this morning with an aim to find out the number of people with hearing loss on the Rock.
It is hoped the data will assist GHITA in its campaign to improve and plan the services available in Gibraltar, not just in healthcare but in the education, housing and all aspects of life.
Current figures from GHITA report that locally 16% of people have hearing loss, 42% of over 50 years old are affected with 71% of over 70-year olds suffering.
The figures also show that 40% of these people do not seek help.
In a bid to increase awareness GHITA have launched a support group that will place once a month.
GHITA invites anyone who would like to share their experiences or for just some friendly advice to join them at these events.
GHITA is a user led association who support people who are deaf, hard of hearing, have tinnitus, meniere’s (vertigo) and have a sudden drop in hearing.
The association aims to lessen any feelings of embarrassment, isolation, confusion and depression a person with any hearing impairment may feel by way of information, support and advocacy.
To mark the awareness week the Tower of Homage in the Moorish Castle will be lit up tonight in GHITA’s colour teal.
The association are encouraging anyone to join GHITA and help support those with hearing loss.
“In numbers there is strength to make changes we all need, join us,” said GHITA in a statement.
The survey can be completed in person at the PCC or at St Bernard’s hospital but is also available online at www.tinyurl.com/hearinglossquestionnaire. More information on the charity and its events can be found online at http://ghita.gotdns.org/.
To mark Deaf Awareness Week, The Chronicle will run a series of articles written by people in the GHITA committee who are affected by hearing loss or a hearing condition.