Hearing Australia helps families make the best choices for their child’s hearing health



Today, Hearing Australia launched their new resource for parents and families - the book Choices. Choices is a free resource for families of children who are newly diagnosed with hearing loss from birth to twelve years of age. The book provides valuable information to help families confidently make the right choices for their child throughout their hearing journey.

Alison King, Hearing Australia’s Principal Audiologist, Paediatric Services says that, “Many parents, and particularly those whose child’s hearing loss is diagnosed close to birth, find themselves swept into a world that is completely unfamiliar, since most people have had little or no contact with children who are deaf or hard of hearing.”

“We’ve created Choices to acknowledge that parents and families may be going through a difficult time and to reassure them that their child’s hearing loss is manageable and there is plenty of professional support available.”

Through Choices, Hearing Australia makes it easier for families to understand and find information about the range of hearing technology, communication and support services that are available to help them.
“We are thankful to Hearing Australia for Choices and the way it provides us with easy access to information, for example, the importance of our daughter Ella attending early invention centres and accessing the right technology,” says parent, Nicole Gagen.

“For us, it was great to be able to read stories from other parents who are going through the same thing and find out how important it is to establish a strong support network of family and friends together with other parents.”

Hearing Australia cares for around 14,000 children up to the age of 12 who use a hearing aid or cochlear implant and in 2019, fitted approximately 2,430 children from birth to 12 years of age with their first hearing aids.1

Choices builds on resources that Hearing Australia has developed over many years based on input from their audiologists, research scientists from the National Acoustic Laboratories (the research division of Hearing Australia), professionals who specialise in working with deaf and hard of hearing children, parents and community groups.  

“Families told us that one of the important things they need and value at this time, is a source of accurate, unbiased information. In response to this feedback we created Choices,” says Kim Terrell, Managing Director, Hearing Australia. “We collaborated with Aussie Deaf Kids, UsherKids, Parents of Deaf Children, The Deaf Society and Deaf Services and I would like to thank everyone for providing their invaluable knowledge, experience and support.”

“If I can share anything with parents who have just found out that their child has a hearing loss, I would say that no matter how you feel now, please find some comfort in the knowledge that it’s going to be OK,” says parent, Bronwyn Doak. “You will get the support and what you need for your children to lead happy, full and normal lives. Every opportunity is open to them.”

Choices has been produced in both printed and eBook format and is available on the Hearing Australia website or at Hearing Australia Centres.  

Ends  
About Hearing Australia
For over 70 years, Hearing Australia has been helping Australians rediscover the joy of sound. Its purpose is to provide world leading research and hearing services for the wellbeing of all Australians. Hearing Australia operates in 168 permanent hearing centres as well as visiting sites across Australia and is the nation’s largest provider of government-funded hearing services for children, young adults up to 26, eligible adults with complex communication needs, some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, pensioners and veterans.
 
About the National Acoustic Laboratories (NAL)
NAL is the research division of Hearing Australia. Since 1947, research conducted by NAL into hearing has opened new ways to help people with hearing loss. NAL’s mission is to lead the world in hearing research and evidence-based innovation to improve hearing health and transform the lives of people with hearing difficulties.
 
Notes:
As a supplement to ‘Choices’, the Hearing Australia website also hosts a service provider directory to help families contact educational and peer support agencies: https://www.hearing.com.au/Our-services/Find-other-services-support-for-your-child
 
References:      
[1] Hearing Australia report: Aided child graphics 2019 (https://www.hearing.com.au/HearingAustralia/media/assets/Documents/Aided-Child-demographics-2019-Hearing-Australia.pdf).
 
Media enquiries:
Vicky Saunders-Flaherty
Hearing Australia
Vicky.saunders-flaherty@hearing.com.au
0436 522 196