The UK has a growing deaf community of nine million people, with a 45 per cent increase in the number of registered deaf people since 1987.
In the last twenty years there have been great improvements in technology to help the deaf community remain active in day to day activities, such as advances in loop systems that enable communication with hearing-aid users, mobile phone texting services and deaf TV.
Many organisations today support the deaf community by ensuring their goods and services are accessible and advertised to the deaf community. UK police forces, for example, promote equal access to the service for people who are deaf, deaf blind, deafened and hard of hearing via the endearingly called PLOD – Police Link Officers for Deaf people.
Other companies such as Mark and Spencers, Hearing Dogs for the Deaf and Optical Express have also seen the value of reaching out to the deaf community.
Advances in technology mean that laser vision correction from Optical Express is now an increasingly safe option for deaf and hard of hearing people with vision problems – more and more of whom are considering this life changing procedure.
One such person is Louise Harte, a television presenter for VeeSee TV. Unable to hear from birth, Louise will be one of the first deaf people in the UK to undergo laser vision correction.
Louise recently attended the Optical Express clinic in London to have her treatment. She said, “I am really excited at the prospect. Optical Express has been really great and they have special protocols in place when they are dealing with people from the deaf community – which has helped put me at ease. I want to show the deaf community that laser vision correction is a safe alternative to the hassles of contact lenses or glasses.”
Spokesperson for Optical Express, Clare Byatt, said, “We are delighted Louise has decided to come to us for treatment. We use the most technologically advanced equipment in the world to ensure safe and accurate results for all our patients. We understand the barriers facing the deaf community when trying to access laser eye treatment information and we try to anticipate for all their needs.”