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Feedback wanted

Lisa Scott
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (July 13/05) - Bev Speight is urging hard of hearing persons to have their say in a national survey to find out if they are happy with health care services.

The NWT director for the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association, Speight says distributing the survey is difficult in the North.

"A lot of people don't know we exist," she said.

That leaves the volunteers with the association's Yellowknife branch, audiologists and word of mouth to let hard of hearing persons know about this chance to give their feedback.

"We want to make sure they are getting the utmost access for their hearing health," said Speight. Services are available to people in all communities, but some people don't know enough about what's available to ask, she said.

Speight figures some people in smaller communities don't know about devices like vibrating clocks and fire alarms that are only available in southern cities.

The survey is available online until July 15. It asks about equipment, counselling services and other services people are using. Hearing professionals can also respond.

Alicia Dennis, an audiometric technician with Stanton Territorial Hospital, works alongside audiologist Dawn Doig.

She said there is a three-month waiting list to see Doig in the Yellowknife clinic, while the hard-of-hearing in the communities must wait for one of Doig's visits.

One potential benefit of the survey may deliver more information about learning devices and new types of hearing aids to users, Dennis said.