Royal National Institute for Deaf People
Action on Hearing Loss, formerly known as The Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) is a charitable organization
Charitable organization
A charitable organization is a type of non-profit organization . It differs from other types of NPOs in that it centers on philanthropic goals A charitable organization is a type of non-profit organization (NPO). It differs from other types of NPOs in that it centers on philanthropic goals A...

 working on behalf of the UK's
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 9 million deaf and hard of hearing people. The head office of RNID is in Islington
Islington is a neighbourhood in Greater London, England and forms the central district of the London Borough of Islington. It is a district of Inner London, spanning from Islington High Street to Highbury Fields, encompassing the area around the busy Upper Street...

, Central London
Central London
Central London is the innermost part of London, England. There is no official or commonly accepted definition of its area, but its characteristics are understood to include a high density built environment, high land values, an elevated daytime population and a concentration of regionally,...

 (19-23 Featherstone Street, London EC1Y 8SL). Its President is Lord Ashley of Stoke
Jack Ashley, Baron Ashley of Stoke
Jack Ashley, Baron Ashley of Stoke, CH PC , is a Labour member of the United Kingdom House of Lords. He was Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent South for 26 years, from 1966 to 1992....

. The Chief Executive is Jackie Ballard
Jackie Ballard
Jacqueline Margaret Ballard has been a politician and journalist in the United Kingdom. She was the Director General of the RSPCA, and took up post as CEO of the RNID on 22 October 2007....

. Its Patron
Patrón is a luxury brand of tequila produced in Mexico and sold in hand-blown, individually numbered bottles.Made entirely from Blue Agave "piñas" , Patrón comes in five varieties: Silver, Añejo, Reposado, Gran Patrón Platinum and Gran Patrón Burdeos. Patrón also sells a tequila-coffee blend known...

 is the Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is the husband of Elizabeth II. He is the United Kingdom's longest-serving consort and the oldest serving spouse of a reigning British monarch....



RNID was founded as the National Bureau for Promoting the General Welfare of the Deaf in 1911 by Leo Bonn, a deaf merchant banker. It was reorganised as the National Institute for the Deaf in 1924. Alongside its role in influencing public policy in favour of people who are hard of hearing in the UK, it also developed a role as a provider of care to deaf and hard of hearing people with additional needs during the late 1920s and early 1930s.

During the 1940s, with the introduction of the National Health Service (NHS)
National Health Service
The National Health Service is the shared name of three of the four publicly funded healthcare systems in the United Kingdom. They provide a comprehensive range of health services, the vast majority of which are free at the point of use to residents of the United Kingdom...

 to the UK, it successfully campaigned for the provision of free hearing aid
Hearing aid
A hearing aid is an electroacoustic device which typically fits in or behind the wearer's ear, and is designed to amplify and modulate sound for the wearer. Earlier devices, known as "ear trumpets" or "ear horns", were passive funnel-like amplification cones designed to gather sound energy and...

s through the new welfare state
Welfare state
A welfare state is a "concept of government in which the state plays a key role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of its citizens. It is based on the principles of equality of opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for those...

 system. The 1950s and 1960s saw its increasing influence marked by Royal recognition: in 1958 the Duke of Edinburgh became the Patron of the Institute; and in 1961 H.M. the Queen
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

 approved the addition of the "Royal" prefix, creating the Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID).

The Institute expanded into medical and technological research during the 1960s and 1970s, being a key player in the development of NHS provided behind-the-ear hearing aids. During the 1980s it developed the Telephone Exchange for the Deaf, a pioneering relay service allowing telephone users and deaf "textphone" users to communicate with each other using a third-party operator to relay voice and text communication. This became the service known as Typetalk in 1991, funded by BT but operated on their behalf by RNID until the 7th December 2009 when the RNID stepped down from the service. It is now solely owned, run and managed by BT alone. In March 2009 the name of the Typetalk service was changed to Text Relay.

In 1992 the Institute changed its name to the Royal National Institute for Deaf People but kept the initials RNID.

June 2011 sees the Centenary Celebrations, 100 years of the RNID and a new change of name - Action on Hearing Loss.
'Action on Hearing Loss' was chosen because it better describes the breadth of help and support they provide for people with all types of hearing loss – from people who are profoundly deaf, to people who are losing their hearing. With this new name they can reach out and help more people than ever before.
They will be trading under the new name 'Action on Hearing Loss', but like a lot of other charities who have changed their names, they will be keeping the legal name, Royal National Institute for Deaf People. So they now become RNID - Action on Hearing Loss to quote their full title.


RNID's activities include:
  • campaigning and lobbying, with the help of members, to change laws and government policies
  • providing information and raising awareness of deafness, hearing loss and tinnitus
  • giving training courses and consultancy on deafness and disability
  • offering communication services including sign language interpreters
  • training BSL/English interpreters, lipspeakers, speech-to-text reporters and electronic notetakers
  • making lasting change in education for deaf children and young people
  • supporting deaf people into work with the organisations employment programmes
  • providing care services for deaf and hard of hearing people with additional needs
  • developing equipment and products for deaf and hard of hearing people
  • social, medical and technical research.

Present operations

The RNID has achieved a high profile for its work in lobbying and working with the UK government on modernisation of the UK's audiology services. This has resulted in the introduction of superior digital hearing aids free of charge via the NHS.

To deliver its activities, the RNID has a dedicated Casework service, that represents deaf and hard of hearing people across all aspects of Social Security
Social Security (United States)
In the United States, Social Security refers to the federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance program.The original Social Security Act and the current version of the Act, as amended encompass several social welfare and social insurance programs...

 and Welfare Rights issues. The service was started with the aid of Lottery Funding, but has recently become core funded.

RNID has also emerged as a major player in technology research and development, in particular through its work in the area of product development. The RNID Product Development team won an Innovation Award for their work on a new genre of telephone - the ScreenPhone.

Campaign awards

In 2006, RNID won two prestigious awards at the Third Sector Excellence Awards ceremony - in the categories of 'Best Integrated Campaign' and 'Overall Excellence'. Both of these were for its Breaking the Sound Barrier campaign, which aims to reduce the stigma associated with hearing aids and hearing loss, in order to assist the 4 million people in the UK who would benefit from a hearing aid but currently do not.

Hearing check

RNID have developed an online RNID free, confidential online hearing check, and can identify potential hearing problems. The five-minute check assesses your ability to hear someone speaking when there is background noise. It can indicate whether your hearing is within the normal range or if it is perhaps below normal. The hearing check does not give a medical diagnosis, but RNID hopes it will prompt people to take action and visit their GP or an audiologist for a fuller assessment. On average, it can take people living in the UK up to 15 years to deal with a hearing loss. RNID wants 1 million people to take the hearing check.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.