Diversity and Disability

Deaf Awareness Week 2010


A Glasgow woman is on the campaign trail to encourage people to take better care of their hearing.

Julie McElroy, who has profound sensory neural hearing loss, has teamed up with local hearing care retailer The Hearing Company to prepare a short educational film on hearing care matters.

The film was unveiled at the Scottish Parliament to an audience including Bill Kidd, MSP for Glasgow, who has also given his support to the venture.

Julie was born prematurely and later diagnosed with cerebral palsy as well as a severe hearing impairment.  She is an active campaigner on disability issues.

She said: “Being hard of hearing is one of the worst social disabilities a person can experience.  My deafness wasn’t diagnosed until I was five years old and without hearing aids I can’t pick up any sounds unless they are exceptionally loud, such as a fire alarm or ambulance siren. 
“The Hearing Company kindly offered to assist me in finding a hearing aid system that would allow me to make the best use of the hearing I have left.

“My speech and my hearing remain the most common difficulties I have out of everything else but I am so grateful to them for the improvements achieved and the positive impact this has had on my life.

“If sharing my story will make more people feel motivated to take better care of their hearing or seek support if they are having problems then it’s certainly worthwhile.”

According to the Scottish Council on Deafness, there are just over one million people in Scotland who have some degree of hearing loss.  The figure for the whole of the UK is around nine million.

Greg Clements, who runs branches of The Hearing Company in Jordanhill and Newton Mearns and also appears in the film, said: “Hearing is one of our most vital but also neglected senses. We recommend having a hearing test at least every two years but it often takes longer than that for people to realise they have a hearing problem in the first place and yet more time to feel confident enough to seek professional help.

“In Julie’s case we heard of her circumstances through a local news article and found the human interest side of her story quite phenomenal.  She has overcome incredible obstacles in her life and we wanted to try and offer some support to help her hear better.”

The screening at the Scottish Parliament was preceded by a members’ debate on deafness and hearing loss.

Bill Kidd MSP said: “Knowing Julie McElroy as I do, being intelligent, hard-working and someone who sees people’s capabilities rather than their disabilities, I was very happy to sponsor the reception to promote deaf awareness and help to bring this to the wider public.”
To see extracts from Julie’s film with The Hearing Company visit

For further information please contact Nick Trueman at Seal on 0121 616 5800 /

One reply on “Deaf Awareness Week 2010”

Well done Julie glad to see you’ve made a short film and i hope you enjoyed making it.

It may even help other disabled people to get into acting and realise their potential.

Keep up the good work Julie.

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