HARD OF HEARING
NEW ZEALAND LEAGUE
A WELLINGTON BRANCH
A Wellington branch of the Now Zealand League for the Hard of Hearing' was formed yesterday afternoon at tho Red Cross Hall. Dr. Garnet Harty was appointed the first president.
The Mayor of Wellington (Mr. T. C. A. Hislop) presided, and there were also present the Mayoress, the Minister of Health (the Hon. J. A. Young), Dr» Hardie Neil, the president of the New Zealand League; Mrs. G. A. Hurd-Wood, honorary organising secretary- and founder of the New Zealand' League; Dr. Macdonald Wilson, president of the British Medical Association; and Mrs. M. H. Chatfield, president of the Wellington branch of the National Council of Women.
The Mayor explained that the meeting was called for the purpose of extending the work of the movement, which, so far as he was aware, had not yet extended throughout New Zealand. The movement was inspired by Mrs. G. A. Hurd-Wood, of Hamilton, and Dr. Hardio Neil, of Auckland, who with, others had formed an Auckland branch.
The Minister of Health (the Hon. J. A. Young), expressing appreciation of the work done by Mrs. Hurd-Wood, said that they could rely upon her enthusiasm which, purely through love of humanity, helped her to fulfil the highest ideals of citizenship. Some years ago Mrs. Hurd-Wood had visited America, with the object of improving the lot of hard-of-heai-ing people, and had made a study of the possibilities. She had taught a small class in Hamilton, and the work had been taken up in Auckland with great enthusiasm. The movement was under good guidance, and the fact that they had men of the medical profession of high standing present showed that there was nothing allied to quackery in the movement. "To be hard of hearing," said Mr. Young, "is like being unable to see. Being deprived of an essential sense is a tremendous handicap to the individual in daily life, and anything that can be done to remedy that is a desirable work.'' Dr. Hardie Neil said that the league was practically a co-operative society seeking to organise the thousands of the havd-of-hearing in the Dominion so that they might have facilities for conquering or minimising their disability. CAUSES OF DEAFNESS. "The great menaces of those with the trouble arc hypersensitiveness, fear, suspicion, and the tendency to seek seclusion," he said. "We try to restore their relations with the social and economic worlds. About 70 per cent, of the hard-of-hearing adults are subjects of a condition known as progressive deafness, or otosclerosis. The disability is due to the blockage of the sound waves on their way to the inner ear. Another 12 per cent of the cases are due to neglected running ears and troubles arising from infection coming from the nose and throat. Fortunately, this latter class is steadily diminishing, through more effective treatment. Otosclerosis may be the only constitunal blemish present. In the light of present medical knowledge it is irremediable and shows itself in early adult life in varying degrees of severity. In seeking for the cause of otosclerosis probably the most active and detailed work in microsopy in the world is done. The American Ear Specialists' Association has a fund of £50,000 with which to encourage and subsidise the work, which is carried on by men with special aptitude, facilities, and long experience. The foremost authority in Britain wrote to us that finality had been reached in that direction. The biological side is being exploited and biological chemistry, with its great possibilities, may give much needed assistance." , , ... Dr McNeil went on to deal wun gradually increasing loss of hearing, and passed on to the value of the teaching of lip-reading. He described the progress-made in this great help to the deaf. The league, ho said, also aimed at erring advice to those who might be exploited commercially by ignorant or unscrupulous people. AIMS OF THE LEAGUE. Mrs Hurd-Wood explained that the altruistic aim of the league wag' to rebuild the lives of the deafened and hard of hearing, and help them to discover the surest way to; surmount their handicap. ,"Deaf" meant those born deaf, "deafened" those who had had full hearing but had lost practically all of it, and "hard of hearing" referred to thousands with varying degrees of defective hearing. Deaf children of .school age received their education at, a Sumner school established m 188 U. The membership of the Society for tho Deaf, formed in Wellington m_ 19^, and its funds, had been merged m tho league, the aims of which were:—(l) The encouragement of lip-reading by the deafened and hard of hearing; (2) the investigation and recommendation of hearing aids for those who wiU benefit from their use; (3) the rendering of assistance in finding employment; (4) the provision of social intercourse vnth other similarly afflicted persons. HAPPINESS AND WORK. Mrs. Hurd-Wood also spoke of the needs and problems of those suffering from deafness, the constant strain and nerve exhaustion, and the value of lipreading as a factor towards spiritual and mental adjustment. Two years ago the league had its first lip-reading classes, starting with 19 pupils. Now there were 76 on the roll. A good hearing aid and lip-reading often solved the problem of employment. Demonstrations of hearing aids were of value, and there should be no more hesitation in wearing them than in wearing glasses. There were thousands who would become economic burdens if they discarded glasses. Dr Macdonald Wilson, who represented the B.M.A. and the Rotary Club, wished the movement success. It was fully endorsed by Wellington doctors. Mrs. Chatfield, on behalf of the National Council of Women, said the matter was not yet before her council, but she did not doubt its heartiest support to such a desirable movement. There were scattered amongst tha audience members of practically every social and welfare organisation in the city, including those interested in the blind, and i; most interesting parallel between tho work of the league and that doiio i'or the blind was given liy a . speaker who had'been blind since early boyhood, but whom special training had enabled to earn his own living since the age of 17. The names of those of the 100 persons present who5 wished to take part in the movement were taken.
Regret at the death of Mr. J. J. Dougall, of CliristchuTch, and sympathy ■with his relaticvs were expressed last evening in a resolution of the Wellington branch of the Navy League. Tributes were paid to the work of Mr. Dougall in Navy League affairs. After merely formal business had been- transacted, the meeting, on the motion of Mr. A. Walker, the chairman, adjourned as a mark of respect. The office of the New Zealand branch of the Navy League, Wellington, was closed between 11 and 12 o'clock this,.morning ns a mark of respect to. the memory of th 9 late president, Mr. Dougall.
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HARD OF HEARING, Evening Post, Volume CXVIII, Issue 57, 5 September 1934
HARD OF HEARING Evening Post, Volume CXVIII, Issue 57, 5 September 1934
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