The Story of Chime - Why have we changed our name?

Welcome to the Story of Chime!

 
We recently changed our name from DeafHear to Chime and here we explain some of the reasons why we changed our name.
 
In 2007 we changed our name from the National Association for Deaf People to DeafHear. We wanted to reach out to all of our audiences: the Deaf Community, families, people who are hard of hearing and people who have tinnitus.But the name DeafHear did not work well for us, especially for families and hard of hearing people. We organised focus groups for various groups: Deaf people, parents, hard of hearing people and the general public. 
 
We found that many parents and hard of hearing people assumed that we only worked with Deaf people who used sign language.Also, many hard of hearing people said they did not consider themselves as ‘deaf’, and so assumed that DeafHear was not for them.We knew based on the feedback from focus groups that we needed a new name that that wouldn’t be a barrier to anyone who was Deaf or Hard of Hearing seeking out our services and support.

 

We found out in 2017 that one in five hard of hearing people in Ireland had hearing aids – about 60,000 out of 300,000 people! So over a quarter of a million Irish adults who need hearing aids or assistive technology don’t have this yet. This is a very high rate of untreated hearing loss in the developed world, and we want to change it.

This is one important reason why we changed our name. If every adult received early treatment for their hearing loss, 9% of dementia cases could be prevented, as well as many people having an improved quality of life.

Changing Our Name

In changing our name we wanted a new name that was positive and appealing to people. Most of the focus groups we held were very positive about Chime as a name for an organisation.

Positive, warm, person-centred, innovative and inclusive were some of the qualities the focus groups identified, and these are qualities we want to develop in our brand.

For us, chime is not a sound word – it is focussed on the action meaning or verb of chime: chime in, chime together, chime as one.

Chime is about inclusion, choice and self-determination.

The charity sector in Ireland plays a major role in providing services and supports to people on behalf of the State. This is different from the traditional perception of charities in the 70s and 80s, when the Rights of people with disabilities were not formally recognised and charities did not generally receive money from the State to provide services. Also, the State has recently established the Charities Regulator, which requires greater levels of transparency and accountability from charities.

Our focus group research indicated that it was important for the public to know what type of organisation we are and that the public value charities and the work that they do.

Also, some people assumed we are a for profit organisation. So our new tagline clearly identifies us as a national charity.

So we have changed our name to Chime, but our values and focus remain the same. The Deaf Community remain dear to our heart and we will continue to work closely with Deaf people who need our services and to fight to have the Rights of the Deaf Community fully vindicated. We will continue to work with deaf children and their families, consistently improving the services we offer and collaborating with others to ensure deaf children reach their full potential. We will continue to support people who have tinnitus. Through raising awareness of Chime and the services and supports we provide, we will reach out to people who develop hearing loss to support and encourage them to take action on their hearing loss.

So, how was our new sign name Chime developed? 

This was developed by our Deaf staff. We organised a workshop and our Deaf staff developed a sign that reflected the essence of Chime: working for inclusion, personal choice and self-determination.  

Chiming in, chiming together, chiming as one in a society where all deaf and hard of hearing people to have a life with no limits.

People coming together as one. ‘CHIME’. 

A lot of work…research, consultation and discussions was involved in developing our new name and brand. We are confident that in the years ahead Chime will help raise awareness of deafness and hearing loss and help achieve a more accessible society with equal opportunities for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people to live a with no limits.   

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