Splendid service for hearing impaired

By Dr. Mark Amerasinghe, Kandy

I wish to publicly acknowledge my appreciation of the invaluable service provided by the National Council for the Deaf to the people of this country, from all walks of life.

Over the past two years I have had to visit the council’s centre, at 625/98, Sri Jayawardenapura Mawatha, Rajagiriya, on several occasions, in order to get my hearing tested, obtain hearing equipment and use their services.

On every occasion I have been greatly impressed by the quality of the service provided – the dedication, care, concern, courtesy and competence displayed by all grades of staff, both technical and administrative.

I am writing this letter because I have met many people with hearing problems who are not aware of the existence of this centre. Besides, there are people in need of hearing aids who cannot afford to buy the hearing equipment sold in the private sector. The cost a hearing aid at the centre is well below the price of similar items sold in the retail market. The centre also provides services free of charge to the lower-income groups, as well as Army, Navy, Air Force and Police personnel.

The centre provides a variety of services, including audiometry for children and adults; play audiometry for children; free field hearing assessment and otoacoustic emission testing for children under four years; and speech audiometry, among others. In addition, the council runs a hearing aid programme, a repair unit and a ear-mould laboratory, as well as an education programme.

One thing this centre badly needs is a lift, for patients who have difficulty climbing the stairs to get to the audiology centre, and other sections of the centre. We hope the health authorities or a philanthropist will step in to help out.

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