On the record
Georgie has been a behavioural assistant in the intensive support team for just over four years, working with clients who have a learning disability and behaviour that may challenge services.
However, her association with the NHS stretches back to 1979 as a trainee audiologist, becoming senior paediatric audiologist until meningitis robbed her of her hearing in 1997.
Now profoundly deaf she uses both lipreading and sign language to communicate.
Her hearing loss didn’t hold her back though.
Georgie explained: “Following my meningitis I re trained as a Hearing Therapist at the City Lit in London in 1998 and was Team leader for Adults with learning disabilities and hearing difficulties at South Buck NHS Trust. I worked in this role until 2009 when due to ill health I was forced to take a medical discharge.
“I’ve lived in the hearing world as a hearing person and now for the last 22 years, l am a deaf person in a hearing world, so I have experienced first-hand the difficulties a deaf or hard of hearing person faces every day.”
Having faced difficulty accessing things like training, meetings and general information in a way that her hearing colleagues did not Georgie has strived to raise awareness by giving deaf awareness training; information regarding loop systems and hearing aid technology along with helping colleagues devise good communication guides.
“Deafness is very much a hidden disability which can often go un noticed be ignored or forgotten . It can result in isolation, lack of confidence, dependency on others and affect someone’s quality of life. By raising awareness I wanted to break down the barriers this disability can often bring.”