‘Lend me your ears ...’

A conference for individuals and families in North Wales who suffer from hearing impairment

In early June, Bangor University will host a one-day conference for individuals and families who suffer due to hearing impairment. The event will be held on Saturday, June 8th from 10.00 a.m. until 3.30 p.m. in Powis Hall, Main Arts Building, College Road, Bangor.

This will be the first conference of its kind in Wales. Its aim is to bring individuals and families together to socialise, to discuss the field, to share their experiences and to listen to four distinguished speakers sharing their understanding and specialism. Following the lunch-time break, there will be an open ‘Question-time’ session which will enable delegates to ask for assistance, and advice and to encourage others. Several local, regional and national deaf organisations, as well as volunteer groups active in the field will also be present throughout the day’s events.

Professor David Crystal (Linguistics expert, author and world-wide authority on languages) will be the guest speaker during the morning session while during the afternoon Gareth Foulkes (from the Manx Deaf Society) will plot the history and development of deafness in Wales. In addition, the young Oceanography lecturer Dr. Andrew Davies and the inspirational ‘British sign-language’ tutor from Llandudno, David Duller, will explain the challenges and opportunities for individuals facing long-term hearing loss.

‘This is an ideal opportunity for Bangor University to serve the community in north Wales and I sincerely hope that the event will prove to be beneficial to deaf individuals and their families who are often ignored and forgotten’, comments the Pro Vice-chancellor, Wyn Thomas. ‘By way of discussion and dialogue and the sharing of experiences, by means of exchanging ideas as well as identifying our fears and anxieties, I hope that we will see an improvement in the services offered to individuals with hearing impairment in the region.’

A total of 194 families in north Wales are affected by severe hearing difficulties and according to recent press reports, Welsh-speaking children who suffer from deafness are sometimes unduly disadvantaged.

The conference has been arranged in order to encourage a regional debate, which will in turn inform Government policy and hopefully, give rise to further research in the field. Improvements to hearing services throughout Conwy, Denbigh, Flint, Gwynedd and Anglesey would also be a much sought-after outcome.

Signers (BSL) and palantypists will be present throughout the event and each presentation will be filmed for the benefit of a wider audience. The conference is free to all delegates and tea/coffee/soft drinks will be available throughout the day. Those wishing to register for the event should contact Mrs. Iona Rhys Cooke on (01248) 382255 or by email - i.r.cooke@bangor.ac.uk



Publication date: 28 May 2013