World Hearing Day events and resources to support Indigenous ear health
In recognition of today, 3 March, being World Hearing Day, Hearing Australia’s Hearing Assessment Program Early Ears (HAPEE) program is hosting a series of events featuring spokespeople singer-songwriter Emma Donovan and Play School presenter and actor Luke Carroll.
The HAPEE program takes action to address and reduce the long-term effects of ear disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children by providing free community-based diagnostic hearing assessments and follow up treatment to children aged birth to six years who do not yet attend school full time. It focuses on early detection and treatment because they are the keys to preventing avoidable hearing loss.
Aiming to reach out to communities across the country to raise awareness of the importance of good hearing health for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children starting school for the first time, the events are supported by a range of resources to support parents and carers, and provide primary health and early childhood education workers with the tools for local engagement.
The theme for World Hearing Day 2021 is Hearing Care for All! Screen. Rehabilitate. Communicate, and coincides with the launch of the World Report on Hearing that calls for global action to address ear diseases and hearing loss across the life course.
With one in three Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children experiencing chronic ear disease that may lead to hearing loss, the theme is of particular relevance to those working in early childhood education and care (ECEC).
A live webinar for Koori maternity service workers will be held today, 3 March, from 11am to 12pm, presented in conjunction with the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO), and featuring Emma Donovan.
The webinar will cover hearing and speech development in utero and beyond, why it’s important to look after ear/hearing health, the long-term impacts on learning, the main ear issues that impact ear and hearing health, and an overview of some tools that are available to help assess children’s hearing.
Ms Donovan will share her daughter’s story with the webinar audience, detailing the help and support she has received through the HAPEE program.
“I am proud to be a spokesperson and to help make a difference for other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids.,” she added.
Luke Carroll will be on hand to support Redfern Aboriginal Medical Service’s community event on Friday 5 March from 10am to 2pm. Hearing Australia will have a stall at the event and will be providing food and drink to the community, while an audiologist will be checking children’s ears.
“I joined the HAPEE program because I know our kids need good ear health and hearing to help them learn and get on in life, so I want to encourage parents to get their kids hearing checked regularly,” Mr Carroll said.
Over the course of the week regional events will be hosted across the country in New South Wales (Kempsey, Newcastle and the Central Coast), Western Australia (Narrogin), and Queensland (various sites in the Torres Strait and the Fraser Coast).
Parents and carers can call 134 432 or visit https://www.hearing.com.au/HAPEE for more information today to get a free hearing check.
ECEC professionals needing further information are invited to contact [email protected]