Take a step forward with AD Cultural

At Action Deafness we actively promote independence, equality, access and opportunity for all.  As a deaf led organisation working with and for the benefit of, deaf, deafened, and hard of hearing people, we fully understand the tough challenges constantly facing those with a hearing loss.  

These challenges are often compounded for people from Black, Minority and Ethnic (BME) backgrounds as they may struggle to find their identity in communities which may not fully accept disabilities, including deafness or know what support is available.

It was for this reason AD Cultural established HearNow Forward, offering services sensitive to, and specifically designed to support people from BME backgrounds, regardless of age.

HearNow Forward offers:

  • Basic hearing screening: Identifying people from the BME communities with an undiagnosed hearing loss, some of whom may already know their hearing isn’t too good, but have yet to follow it up, encouraging people to protect their hearing, and to seek help as early as possible.
  • Full hearing tests: If the basic hearing screening suggests a possible hearing loss, then the person can be referred immediately for a full hearing test.
  • One to one assessments of need: Giving advice and guidance, supporting individuals/families or signposting to appropriate services to facilitate independence, reducing isolation, increasing well-being, and progressing in terms of personal development.
  • Free British Sign Language (BSL) Level 1 and 2: People with a hearing loss from the BME communities may wish to learn BSL for their own benefit; members of their families, friends or work colleagues may wish to learn BSL to communicate with the Deaf BSL user, and could all benefit from access to the project’s free BSL courses.
  • Free Deaf Awareness Training (DAT): This is offered for organisations wanting to know more about deafness, and how to make their organisation more accessible at a basic level, to those with any degree of hearing loss.
  • Accessibility audits: Organisations wanting to know how they are faring in terms of accessibility for D/deaf people, and how to improve their services, can have an accessibility audit carried out by skilled and experienced professionals, providing recommendations on how they could improve.
  • Coffee Mornings: Opportunity to socialise with others from the BME communities with a hearing loss, and learn more about services available in the local area.
  • Drop-In Hearing Aid Repair Clinic: For those whose hearing aids aren’t working, need retubing, new batteries, etc.

HearNow Forward is the next exciting phase of the highly acclaimed HearNow project, which ended in 2013.  The pilot HearNow project made such a positive impact within the targeted communities, that the Lottery funded HearNow Forward to enable Action Deafness to build on the project’s success, creating a legacy to support D/deaf people from BME backgrounds and continue breakdown barriers.

There is a wealth of support and advice available, so if you or someone you know could benefit from this service and would like to know more, please email us at hearnow@actiondeafness.org.uk or call us directly on 0116 253 3205.

Jaz Mann
Jaz Mann


I haven’t been to the GP because I was too embarrassed and worried about what my family might think of me. After receiving support from the HearNow forward team at Action Deafness, I now know I am not alone and feel more confident to go to my GP to get help for my hearing concerns
Service User
My hearing aids are my ears, so when they go wrong, I am completely lost! It is difficult at times to get an appointment quickly at the hospital which can be very difficult for me. I heard about HearNow forward’s hearing aid drop-in clinic over a year ago, which I was so happy to come across. I attend these clinics as and when I need them now- they truly are a life saver!
Service User
I always had concerns about my hearing however every time I went to my GP with concerns, he kept saying that my ears are free from wax and therefore no concerns. I still use to struggle a lot with my hearing, which made me very isolated and sad. During my struggle I was fortunate to meet a qualified Audiologist from Action Deafness. She understood my concerns and along with a hearing screen offered me a full free hearing test at De Montfort University. An hour appointment was booked according to my convenience, where a thorough examination was carried out. After the testing I was given my test results, which did indicate I had a loss. I was advised to go to my GP with my results, which I did, and in turn he referred me to the hospital. I now have been fitted with hearing aids in both ears and couldn’t be happier. I can now socialise again! Thank you Action Deafness!
Service User
I must admit I never thought about having my hearing checked until I visited your free Hearing Checks at our local Health and Well-Being fair in Belgrave. I had been struggling with my hearing and after my consultation I was told that it could be due to excessive wax in my ears. I followed the advice given to me to use olive oil drops and my hearing is much better now. I am so glad that I went for the check! I shall now have my hearing checked regularly in future.
Service User
We have had problems with my son’s hearing for some time. We were very concerned and could not get any help from Health or Statutory authorities. It was suggested that he may have had some behavioural issues. We managed to arrange full hearing test at DeMontfort University with the help of AD Cultural. The report highlighted concerns around my son’s ear health and now he has been referred for further treatment. We are absolutely delighted by this development. This has been possible because of the help and intervention by the Audiologist working with HearNow Forward Project
Kashmira Maroju - Mother
We were travelling to Leicester Royal Infirmary for maintenance of Hearing Aids and we had to change 2 buses to get there. It was quite demanding as we have mobility issues. We are so pleased with the Drop-In- Hearing Aid Clinic at Age UK, Catherine House. We don’t need to make appointments and the service marvellous!
Service User
My husband had been feeling low and wasn’t taking part in conversations. We were not sure why it was, until when your cultural team came and did hearing checks at our Day Centre. They detected hearing loss and we went to see our GP and he referred him to the hospital and now he has hearing aids. We cannot thank you enough for this service as we would have never thought about checking his ears!
Oadby resident in her 60’s