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Tuesday, June 9, 1998 Published at 13:11 GMT 14:11 UK


Frank and Philip have hearing tests

Deaf children at school, but many people don't have vital tests

Politicians are good at talking, but Health Secretary Frank Dobson's listening skills come under scrutiny as he and the Duke of Edinburgh undergo hearing tests to promote a deaf awareness campaign.

The two men are launching the 'Breaking the Sound Barrier' campaign, organised by the Royal National Institute for the Deaf.

The charity is targeting GPs with information on how to identify the one in five adults who are said to suffer hearing problems. Once a problem is discovered, doctors can refer people for further help or hearing aids.


The RNID hopes its campaign will help break the isolation many people with hearing problems feel.

[ image: Frank Dobson has his ears tested]
Frank Dobson has his ears tested
According to a survey, one in seven deaf or hard of hearing people feels frustrated and socially isolated.

There are 8.7 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the UK and the figures are set to rise to 9 million by the year 2000, as the population ages.

The Duke of Edinburgh, who is a patron of the RNID, will unveil a plaque to commemmorate its founding in 1911.

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