Article contributed by Scarlet Lewitt, PR and Content Specialist for Hear4U and Healthscreen UK
Deaf Awareness Week means more than a simple hashtag on social media. It is a time to actively promote the positivity of living with hearing loss but at the same time, make an increased effort to understand some of the hardships faced by those who are hard of hearing. It is a time to inspire and empower; to encourage speaking up and social inclusion and to increase awareness of British Sign Language (BSL).
For online retailer, Hearing Aid Accessories (HAA), there is no better time to launch their one-of-kind app than at the pinnacle of Deaf Awareness Week. It is the world’s first app in which to buy hearing aid accessories, and they have spent the last eight months working towards this very moment.
The Story Behind the HAA App
The app is the brainchild of CEO Samantha Bennett, an audiologist with more than two decades of experience in this field.
Hearing loss is a condition that resonates closely with Sam given that her husband Ben has had hearing loss for almost thirty years; an after-effect of his time spent in the Armed Forces. Her experiences with Ben have informed the rest of her career, and this project is no different. After all, it was powered by seeing the adversities faced by people with hearing loss during the Covid-19 pandemic. Hearing clinics and shops were closed, and this really highlighted the need to be able to purchase hearing aid accessories online. Like many other online shops, HAA was booming, but unlike consumers of other services, hearing aid users were restricted to websites to make their orders.
There was an evident gap in the market: smartphone users already had access to an array of necessities such as food, clothing, and medication via apps, but when it came to hearing aid accessories, a vital necessity for hearing aid users, there was no app in sight.
Given that mobile app usage had surged by 40%, Sam saw this as a dire matter to enhance the accessibility of hearing aid accessories, and development towards the HAA app proceeded in August 2021.
What to Expect From the App
The HAA app is essentially a comprehensive repository of both products and information alike; with everything one might need to upkeep hearing health. Whether it’s a set of batteries or domes required for hearing aid maintenance, bespoke hearing protection designed specifically for musicians or industry workers, a brand-specific microphone, or a certain cleaning product, the app has its users covered.
It also contains various features to make the everyday lives of those with hearing loss as simple, straightforward, and stress-free as possible. Namely, the app is personalised to offer user experiences that are customised to their specific needs rather than a broad, homogenous experience for all users.
Upon signing up, every user will have a personal account used to add to wish lists, discover special offers and receive product recommendations based on usage and purchase history.
These features are designed to minimise the overall time spent product searching and provide users with easy access to items they require on a regular basis.
The Future of the App
Alongside the app, HAA have also spent the past year working on other enterprises, including the launch of its US website: Hearing Aid Accessory, which went live in late March 2022. These ventures are huge milestones for HAA’s development as a company, and it is only a sign of what to come.
Sam already speaks of the future of the app, as she continues to search for new innovative hearing technologies to sell and hopes to implement consumer waiting lists and loyalty schemes as additional features.
Given than 1 in 6 have a hearing loss in the United Kingdom alone, this app is certainly something of a watershed moment for the deaf and hard of hearing community.