March 1-7 marks Hearing Awareness Week, a time to raise community awareness of hearing loss and ways to protect your hearing.
The World Health Organization estimates that globally, over 430 million people experience disabling hearing loss, a number that could grow to nearly 700 million by 2050. In Australia, almost 4 million people have some form of hearing loss. This continues to grow as our population ages.
When unaddressed, hearing loss poses a significant challenge for all age groups, hindering language development, communication, cognition, and limiting access to education, employment and social interactions.
March 3 is also celebrated as World Hearing Day, which is accompanied this year by the launch of the World Health Organization’s first ever World Report on Hearing. This day and the report draws attention to the needs of all people living with or at risk of hearing loss and ear diseases.
Marked by the theme ‘Hearing care for ALL‘, World Hearing Day calls upon governments to integrate ear and hearing care into national health plans.
In the spirit of the World Health Organization’s global campaign, Telethon Speech & Hearing is highlighting a number of individuals in our organisation who bring excellence, inclusivity and a wealth of knowledge to their roles and make our centre such a delightful place for our families and children.
By raising awareness of these important educational and healthcare roles, we aim to take stock of the current status (or lack thereof) of hearing care support available in our community and be a source of inspiration towards improving lives of those impacted by or at risk of hearing loss and ear diseases.
Today’s highlighted staff member is our Teacher of the Deaf, Kiah Hall:
- About my role at Telethon Speech & Hearing
Kiah: I started as a relief teacher at Talkabout in 2018, and then transitioned into the Outpost program in 2019. My role involves working with primary school-aged students who are deaf and/or hard of hearing to support their listening, language and self-advocacy skills. As a wider team, we aim for students to have optimal access to the curriculum and ensure learning is accessible. I support students in managing their assistive technology during school hours, and facilitate focus sessions where we work on goals in their individual education plan.
- Something I’m looking forward to in 2021…
K: I am currently studying a Master of Disability Studies with a specialisation in Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education; which I look forward to completing this year.
- The most common question I get asked is…
K: “Can we play a game now?”
- In my role, I am most passionate about…
K: Being given the opportunity to assist students with understanding their hearing needs and empowering them to actively manage their own assistive technology provides me with a great sense of fulfilment. I feel very proud of my students, especially when they advocate for their own needs in the classroom.
- About my favourite sound
K: I love the sound of waves breaking on the shore, because it reminds me of my childhood summers spent at the beach in Dunsborough.
- What I’ve learnt about caring for someone with hearing loss from my time working at Telethon Speech & Hearing
K: I have learnt that it is important to always be kind, patient, and find joy in everything that you do.
Continue to visit our website from March 1-7 for more amazing stories and insights from our dedicated team at Telethon Speech & Hearing. Visit the World Health Organisation website for more information about how you can support the global call for action against hearing loss and promoting ear/hearing care across the world. #HearingAwarenessWeek #Hearathon2021 #WorldHearingDay #HearingCare #SafeListening