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The UK has 9,000,000 deaf and hard of hearing people, meaning that a small but significant percentage of the UK workforce is losing its hearing and failing, in some cases, to take the steps to stem the worst effects of loss of hearing acuity.

More than 40% of persons over 50 have some level of hearing loss, and it is important that this does not needlessly become an impediment to communication at work.

Now the RNID and TUC are encouraging those of the UK's 28,000,000 workforce who believe their hearing may have deteriorated, and their employers, to make use of, and publicise, the charity's Breaking The Sound Barrier hearing test over the telephone (0845 600 55 55).

Comment:"Many older workers are struggling to get by at work either because they are too ashamed to admit to their hearing loss or because they have no idea what to do about it. Many may also be reluctant to advertise it for fear that their employers may treat them less favourably as a result. But good bosses know that it makes sense to do all they can to help employees be as productive as possible at work and so most will I'm sure be keen for their staff to take RNID's hearing check." - TUC General Secretary.

"Both noise induced and age related hearing loss can take a real toll on people's confidence in the workplace. RNID's telephone hearing check is a simple and non-intrusive way of finding out whether digital hearing aids and practical changes to your work environment could help you stay in work. Simple solutions such as amplified telephones and loop systems for hearing aid users can make the world of difference to someone with a hearing loss and enable employees to perform at their best." - Chief Executive RNID.

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