Training and Support for primary health professionals and early childhood educators

Hearing Australia has been working with communities across Australia to provide hearing health education, training, and on-going support to local staff to help detect and prevent avoidable hearing loss in young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. 

Hearing Australia’s HAPEE Program provides upskilling and support to primary health care professionals and early childhood educators who work with young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to provide initial hearing health assessments/screenings. 

Community engagement officers and clinical audiologists from the HAPEE team work directly with local staff providing over the phone, online and face to face support to best suits the needs of individuals and their required training.  

Why are we doing this? 


One in three, or approximately 37,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children experience chronic ear disease+. Otitis media (middle ear infection) can often start within weeks of birth, recur through infancy and early childhood, persist into adolescence and, if left untreated can result in hearing loss. 

Hearing loss can lead to disruption of listening and communication skills that are critical for a child’s learning. Children who have fluctuating hearing loss may be missed without regular screenings and have a higher risk of cognitive, speech and language developmental delays that may lead to problems at school.  

Early detection and treatment are key to preventing hearing loss in our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids. 

Who is eligible for training and support with HAPEE? 

 
  1. Primary health care professionals including general practitioners, Aboriginal health workers, nurses and allied health providers who provide care to young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

  2. Non-health professionals and early childhood educators who work with young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. 

 

Upskilling and support available for primary health care professionals 

 

HAPEE provides upskilling and ongoing support to primary health care professionals to enable them to undertake initial ear health checks to identify young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who require a diagnostic hearing assessment or treatment. 

NSW TAFE EarTrain Program 
EarTrain Hearing Program for Professionals - TAFE NSW

EarTrain is an online module/program provided by TAFE NSW that is free to primary health care professionals and enables you to provide comprehensive ear health assessments and ongoing support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. 

A HAPEE audiologist and community engagement officer will support and mentor primary health professionals throughout the process. Either in over the phone, online or face to face depending on what best suits your needs.

 This may include:  

  • Support in accessing and completing the EarTrain program 

  • Ongoing mentoring and elbow support to embed new skills 

  • Providing ongoing support and advice post completion of the modules 

  • Help in accessing the necessary equipment to provide a hearing check 

 

Training and support available for both primary health care professionals and early child educators 

 

Hearing Australia provides early childhood educators and other non-health professionals support and training to be able to identify any issues with child’s listening and communication skills. 

The HAPEE team will support staff in undertaking training in screening tools and provide them with key resources and information to support hearing health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children. 

PLUM and HATS
Home - Plum & Hats (nal.gov.au) 

The PLUM (Parent-evaluated Listening and Understanding Measure) and HATS (Hearing and Talking Scale) tools are a set of conversation guides that allow health professionals to ask parents and carers about their child’s listening and communication skills.

This tool can be used to provide an initial ear and hearing health screening to identify any concerns for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child’s listening and communication skills. 

Sounds Scouts 
Free Online Hearing Test App For Kids | Supported by Department of Health (soundscouts.com) 

Sound Scouts is a downloadable app that incorporates the science of a hearing test into a fun mobile game for young children. Designed to make hearing tests easy, the app will provide an immediate report including the next steps if a hearing loss is detected. 

The HAPEE team can demonstrate to health and non-health professionals how to use Sound Scouts and provide support in accessing further information and other useful resources.  

How to enquire? 


If you are a primary health care professional or non-health professional and would like to find out more about how you can receive training or upskilling to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children's hearing health, reach out to the HAPEE team today at HAPEE@hearing.com.au