On Saturday 19th March, the Hearing Aids for Music team took part in the ‘Be Curious’ Festival, which gave the general public an opportunity to learn about research projects being undertaken at the University of Leeds through talks and interactive activities.
The theme of the Wellcome Trust funded university-wide event was ‘Health and Well-being’ and was intended for those curious about how the human body works, and factors affecting health and well-being. We focused on conveying information about how we hear, how easily our hearing can be damaged, and what speech (conversation) and music (classical, popular) sound like with differing levels of hearing loss. We also set up a booth so that people could take an online hearing test.
We’d like to thank audiology@leeds for providing us with model ears, Alex Santos for designing our hearing awareness posters, and Action on Hearing Loss and Hear the World Foundation organisations for supplying us with leaflets and online resources.
As part of the event, feedback was collected from visitors. Respondents included children and adults (age range 4-66 years old) and their responses indicated that our activities were effective in raising awareness of the prevalence and causes of hearing loss, and of healthy hearing behaviour.
What did you like best?
“Ear workshop” [Aged 12]
“Ears!” [Aged 4]
Did you learn anything new today?
“Hearing aids info” [Aged 39]
“Hearing – how it is damaged.” [Aged 44]
“Lots about hearing impairments and how to prevent hearing loss” [Aged 45]
“Extent and causes of hearing loss” [Aged 35]
Will it change anything you do? If so, in what way(s)?
“It will change how loud I listen to music through headphones” [Aged 14]
“Yes, iPads will be turned down and will buy ear defenders for my son playing drums” [Aged 44]
“Get my hearing checked more regularly!” [Aged 50]
How likely are you to tell someone else what you’ve learnt?
64% reported that they were ‘Very Likely’ to tell someone else what they had learnt.
Visitors were intrigued by the microscopic pictures of hair cells, and were surprised to learn how easily hair cells can be damaged. The hearing simulations, including the opportunity to listen to Sting’s Fields of Gold, and Eros Ramazzotti’s Sei Un Pensiero Speciale with different severities of hearing impairment, were popular with both younger and older visitors as they contemplated what their lives would be like with hearing loss. Several visitors who got their ears tested in our booth reported that it had prompted them to go and get their ears tested by a professional. Overall, feedback suggested that the activities were very informative!
This event was led by Alinka Greasley and Jackie Salter.