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The first university in Scotland to offer degree level education in audiology is urging Scots to open their ears and eyes to hearing loss. Queen Margaret University (QMU), Edinburgh is helping to make people more aware about hearing loss with the launch of a new permanent display showcasing two centuries of hearing aid technology, including an early 20th century ear trumpet, spectacle aid and a 1970s conversation tube.

The unique display of 28 devices is not only a celebration of advancements in digital hearing aid technology, it is also helping audiologists at QMU demonstrate how pioneering research is having a positive impact on the lives of those with hearing difficulties and deafness.

There are over one million people in Scotland with some degree of hearing loss and an estimated two million people across the UK who use hearing aids. Every year in Scotland around 75 children are born deaf, around five of them with a severe to profound hearing loss.  There are also an estimated 3,000 children and young people under 25 with severe to profound hearing loss in Scotland.

On Wednesday 18th May 2016, experts from the Clinical Audiology, Speech and Language Research Centre at QMU will be joined by other researchers and practitioners from across Scotland to help launch the ‘Scottish Hearing Aid Collection’ of over 100 devices.  Experts will also celebrate a decade of audiology research and education at QMU and discuss the positive impact this pioneering research is having on the lives of those with hearing difficulties and deafness.

The Collection offers students and practitioners in audiology and hearing aid dispensing, as well as the wider public, a unique insight into the two centuries of hearing aid technology. It includes examples of some the earliest acoustic devices, non-electrical hearing aids.

The Scottish Hearing Aid Collection was donated by Dr Robin Barr-Hamilton, who helped set up the first Audiology programme at QMU. The Collection is also sponsored by the Oticon Foundation, the charitable foundation of hearing aid manufacturer, Oticon.

Ear Trumpets, the Packington Collection
SY10, Shropshire, UK