Six-year-old inspiration addresses Federal MPs at Power of Speech

Six inspiring children (aged 6-8) with hearing loss will take the floor at Parliament House and address some of Australia’s most powerful politicians at the 2019 Power of Speech event sponsored by Cochlear Limited.

The participants, from across Australia and New Zealand, will present a short speech to key policy makers around the topic ‘My Hearing Future’, demonstrating how early intervention support and cochlear implants have been helping these children reach their full potential.

The national event will be held on Tuesday 22 October 2019 between 7:00am – 8:45am at the Mural Hall, Parliament House Parliament Drive, Canberra.

Eamon Doak, a six-year-old who has been participating in Telethon Speech & Hearing’s Early Intervention Program will share with politicians how he is defying commonly held misconceptions about growing up with a hearing loss.

Eamon, along with his brother Kealan, were born profoundly deaf. Unfortunately, this was only the first symptom of an exceptionally rare condition called Usher syndrome – a rare disorder that causes deafness, balance problems and a gradual development of Retinitis Pigmentosa (eventual blindness).

This, however, does not stop Eamon from excelling in his Year 1 classes at his primary school, St Stephen’s School, in Carramar. Eamon loves to be with his friends and try new things like golf. His biggest hope when he grows up is to fly a plane with his guide dog.

The Power of Speech event celebrates the remarkable outcomes possible for cochlear implant recipients and is part of First Voice’s world-leading early intervention programs for children with hearing loss. The six speakers from across Australia and New Zealand will help challenge common perceptions about hearing loss and what people with hearing loss can achieve.


Mark Fitzpatrick, CEO of Telethon Speech & Hearing said each of the Power of Speech participants are shining examples of the bright future possible for children with hearing loss – and he is certain Eamon and his peers will impress our politicians at Parliament House.

A First Voice study into the education, employment and social outcomes of children with hearing loss who receive early intervention revealed that around three in five (62%) of these children go on to achieve a tertiary level qualification. This compares to only two in five (43.3%) of the general population1.

 

References:
1. First Voice Report on Education, Employment and Social Outcomes of First Voice Member Centre Graduates (18-28 years) 2017. Available here: https://www.firstvoice.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/First-Voice-Graduate-Outcomes-Report.pdf

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