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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 15, Issue 3 (June 1, 1940)

A Helpful Society — N. Z. League for the Hard of Hearing — Activities in Wellington

page 56

A Helpful Society
N. Z. League for the Hard of Hearing
Activities in Wellington.

The New Zealand League for the Hard of Hearing was founded eight years ago, and to-day the movement has been definitely established as one of the main institutions of its kind in the Dominion.

The headquarters of the League are in Auckland and there are branches in the four centres (including one recently formed in New Plymouth) and indications are that further branches will be opened at an early date.

That the league is deserving of encouragement and strong support was emphasised during a recent intensive publicity campaign conducted and organised by the Wellington Branch, at the rooms of the League, Beehive Chambers, Courtenay Place.

The objective of the League is to make known the means whereby some forms of deafness may be prevented or minimised.

During the publicity campaign referred to, which was a Centennial gesture of lectures and demonstrations, a special day was arranged by the Wellington Branch, for parents and teachers, interesting talks on the following subjects being given:—“How the Home Can Help in the Prevention of Deafness”; “Helping the Hard of Hearing Child”; and “Preventive Work of the London County Council.”

Mrs. Nicholson, the Hon. Secretary of the Branch, spoke enthusiastically of a demonstration and follow-up of a more thorough test of the hearing of pupils attending a school for normal hearing children. The test, by means of a multiple audiometer, which was given during Centennial Hearing Week before educational authorities revealed unsuspected loss of hearing among some of the pupils.

The multiple audiometer is a scientific apparatus for testing the degree of loss of hearing. In appearance it resembles a gramophone to which an operator attaches a number of headphones with suitable leads. As many as forty earphone can be attached at one time, and a class of children can be tested in about twenty minutes or half an hour.

When the operator starts the machine the children hear a voice giving numbers. As the voice of the gramphone record speaks to the class the pupils write on a chart the numbers heard. An examination of the chart shows the children with defective hearing.

The Wellington Branch of the New Zealand League for the Hard of Hearing seeks to assist the parents by advice as to where and how they may receive the help which they may desire.

Briefly the aims of the New Zealand League for the Hard of Hearing are:—

Early detection and prevention of deafness; encouragement of lip-reading by the hard of hearing; investigation and recommendation of reliable hearing aids for those who will benefit by their use; provision of social intercourse; provision of facilities and equipment (at the rooms of the League) for lessening the ill-effects of deafness, and restoration of the ear-handicapped in the business and social world.

The League disseminates practical suggestions for overcoming in the home the ill-effects of deafness, e.g., the replacing of door-bells with door-lights, and the installation of buzzers in addition to telephone bells, and the training of a dog to attract the attention of the ear-handicapped person when some one knocks at the door, and also when the telephone-bell rings.