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Hearing charity backs Paralympics-inspired Swimathon in Thame

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A fundraising Swimathon being organised in Thame next month has the backing of the charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.

Local charities and businesses in Thame are organising a fundraising swim event next month to raise money for a range of causes including deafness.

Inspired by the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Thame Rotary Club will be hosting the first Rotary Thame Swimathon on October 7th.

The emphasis is on inclusion, so could be the perfect opportunity for locals to join a team and try out their waterproof digital hearing aids for the first time alongside other disabled participants.

Rotary Swimathon Steering Group chair Marius Ciortan explained: "Everyone over the age of 8 can take part. We are looking for another 15 teams of up to 6 swimmers.

"Each team is given a lane of the pool and will swim for 55 minutes, with only one team member swimming at a time. To avoid disappointment we advise the teams to complete their entry forms as soon as possible."

Charities supporting the fundraising event include the Thames Valley Air Ambulance and Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.

Sports clubs and gyms across the UK have been encouraged to make their facilities more accessible to deaf or hard of hearing individuals in the wake of the Paralympics.

Action on Hearing Loss points out that not all clubs and gyms are as accessible as they need to be. Loud background music and a lack of awareness among sports instructors are just some of the barriers faced by deaf and hard of hearing individuals.

The charity recommends a hearing loop is installed at facility receptions to aid wearers, which staff should be trained to use. Staff should also be trained in basic deaf awareness.

Venue managers have a legal responsibility to make reasonable adjustments in order to make facilities accessible for people with disabilities, under the Equality Act 2010, enabling them to enjoy a similar experience to other customers.

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