The telephone hearing test has been developed in conjunction with Mark Lutman, an audiology expert at Southampton University. Five other universities helped to validate it. A similar test has been used successfully in the Netherlands.
Agony aunt Claire Rayner will also appear in the ‘Breaking the Sound Barrier’ campaign, on press ads and on the campaign website. She answers questions about domestic problems caused by hearing loss and promotes the number for the hearing test, which costs 3p per minute to call.
Two TV ads will break on Christmas Day, when millions of people will be watching their televisions. Both feature a character called Clive who is in denial over his hearing loss. The ads use humour to convey the misunderstandings that occur when people cannot hear properly.
Other celebrities supporting the campaign include Sir Cliff Richard, Alan Titchmarsh and historian David Starkey. At the campaign launch yesterday, the charity unveiled research conducted by Mori showing that embarrassment is the most likely reason people give for failing to seek help for hearing problems.