creating a new social norm for hearing care
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In the UK, an individual is likely to weigh up what is available to them for free on the NHS compared to what is not available for free.

Consequently, the closer the free provision comes to the non-free provision (i.e. the smaller the gap), the greater the relative cost of “going private” is seen to be.

This will mean that private providers have to offer more to increase that gap in order to justify the difference in cost. But what they offer has to be something of value to the individual making the choice, and such “extras” will never be as important as the core reasons why someone seeks out hearing care.

When an individual is weighing up the Proposition of an individual hearing care provider, they must evaluate what the cost is to them and whether this cost is "worth it".

There are two types of cost: the financial cost and the non-financial cost (including the personal commitment involved, reaction of their social group etc.)

This article explains those costs in more detail.

Human beings have a tendency to assume everyone else thinks the same way as they do, unless something indicates to the contrary. The Language we use must therefore recognise and value other people's perspectives rather than simply "lumping everyone together".

Whilst it is a truism to say that we’re all different and therefore have our own individual perspectives, when it comes to defining a new language of hearing care we must ensure that our vocabulary is able to appreciate areas where those individual perspectives might carry with them their own idiosyncratic sensitivities.

In developing a suitable vocabulary to address the problems associated with the current language of hearing care, we need to adhere to the following basic principles:

For many people, "Hearing aid" and "Hearing Instrument" have come to symbolise "deafness" because it invokes a long collective memory of hearing aids of the past, together with their inadequacies.

The word “impaired” builds on the issues outlined under Negative Language: Hearing Loss, Hearing Impaired, but brings in yet another negative aspect: it labels the individual.

With labelling terms, we are categorising people into groups and automatically applying everything that the group represents onto the individual we are labelling – i.e. we are activating schemas for those stereotypes.

With some of the language we use, the problem is not necessarily with the label itself, but with the scope of the label’s usage. Examples include: "deaf", "going deaf" and "deafness".

If we apply it to too wide a population, we risk wrongly labelling some individuals whilst denying others the special attention they might require.

Consider the phrases “hearing loss” and “hearing impairment”.

If you look at each of these phrases they all have something in common: hearing is being used as the adjective. “Loss” and “impairment” are therefore more grammatically important than the word “hearing”.

So even before we've begun to explore any associations these words might have, the emphasis is being placed on something that is inherently negative (loss, impairment) that people naturally want to avoid, rather than on the far more attractive word, "hearing".

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