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An easier life in future

A North Lanarkshire pupil's ideas about making the world easier for deaf people will be used to lobby politicians and policy-makers. Eilidh McEwan won first prize for an essay in which she expanded on the title: My Future: Being Deaf in 2018.

The 16-year-old proposed a number of ideas, including waterproof hearing aids to make swimming lessons and water sports easier. Eilidh, who lives in Cumbernauld and attends the hearing impairment department at Motherwell's Dalziel High, also envisaged a vibrating alarm, to be used in lieu of a doorbell or standard smoke alarm.

Her most evocative passage looked ahead to hearing aids that would allow deaf teenagers to hear song lyrics. She wrote: "In the next decade or two, I believe that life will change for deaf people dramatically as more and more technological leaps are made.

"Perhaps there will even be a day when I, or any deaf person, can turn to the person sitting next to them on a noisy crowded train, without fear of not being able to hear them, and say: "Oh, I can't get that song out of my head."

The UK-wide competition was run by the Deafness, Cognition and Language Research Centre at University College London. It will use Eilidh's essay to raise issues with influential public figures.

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