Hearing Health Advocacy Efforts

WORLD HEARING DAY
A Call for Sound Investment to Mitigate Hearing Loss

HCIA - World Hearing DayOn World Hearing Day, the Hearing Care Industry Association (HCIA) welcomes the Australian Government’s focus on hearing health and calls on Government to declare hearing health a National Health Priority.

Australia has a long history of leading the world in hearing care. For example, in 1944 Government established the Acoustic Research Laboratory to investigate the effects of noise on military personnel; in 1947, its role was expanded to include the assessment and rehabilitation of children affected by the rubella epidemics; in 1946 Government started to provide hearing services to returning World War II veterans and school children and in 1968 the program was expanded once more to include social security pensioners.  Today the Government provides services to many more Australians however HCIA believes more can be done. We encourage;

  • Further investment in research to understand the link between hearing loss and other health related matters,
  • Changes to the hearing services program to further improve its effectiveness, including;
  • Reviewing the eligibility requirements to access the program, particularly for low income Australians of working age;
  • Funding an awareness and education campaign specifically aimed at young people, and
  • implementing a screening program for all Australians over the age of 50.

HCIA believes good policy should be evidence based and therefore HCIA has funded an update of a 2006 Report by Deloittes on the Economic Impact of Hearing Loss in Australia. The report will be available shortly.

“We are also proud of our ongoing work on accreditation of our industry and we are happy to have made the investment to develop a national campaign called 5@50 which encourages people over the age of 50 to ask 5 questions in relation to their hearing.

Unlike other screening services Australians don’t have a trigger to prompt them to think about hearing loss.

HCIA works in conjunction with many of the key consumer and professional groups in hearing health. These groups also want to make a difference to the hearing health of Australians.

Contact – Donna Staunton, Chief Executive Officer on 02 9958 1593

 

HCIA SILENT LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE, AUGUST 2013

Hearing Awareness Week 2013 saw the first ever Silent Leadership Challenge in Australia with 72 participants across five States and Territories raising just under $30,000 to establish a hearing aid bank for working age hearing-impaired Australians.

On 28 August 2013, corporate, community and political leaders were invited to experience what hearing impairment was like by wearing hearing protectors over the course of a day and to undertake four different activities: hold a one on one meeting; hold a group meeting; attend a social event and interact with their family. The point was to simulate hearing impairment and experience some of the frustration and isolation that one in six hearing impaired Australians experience every day.

HEARING HEALTH ADVOCACY FORUM, MARCH 2013

Advocacy is a vital pillar of support for those living with hearing loss. To be really effective in advocacy means a high level of understanding, engagement and collaboration. The Hearing Health Advocacy Forum provided a place for hearing health consumer organisations to come together with experts and to share insights on the hearing healthcare landscape in Australia. The forum also involved professional groups and HCIA members.

The forum was about building relationships and capabilities to help engage with government (State and Federal), the media and other advocacy groups. It will also provided an opportunity for those involved to agree on key issues facing hearing-impaired Australians to ensure they are well represented with government and the media.