3.5 milion Australians are hearing impaired or deaf
Hearing Awareness Week will be celebrated from 23 August to 29 August 2015 shining a light on the fragility of hearing health and talking about ways to protect it.
Venneta Lewis, Audiometry Nurse, Glen Innes Health Service said Hearing Awareness Week aims to highlight the issues faced by people with hearing loss as the organisers, the Deafness Forum of Australia, continue to campaign for greater recognition for the issue.
“Deafness or hearing impairment is often described as the ‘invisible disability’,” said Venneta.
“This is partly because hearing aids tend not to be obvious and also because those affected are often isolated through lack of access to communications.
“We need Australians to understand the various degrees of hearing loss and ear and balance disorders and how to communicate effectively with people who are Deaf or hearing impaired,”
The number of Australians who are deaf or hearing impaired is increasing because of long-term exposure to excessive noise - often in the workplace – accidents, the environment and our ageing of the population.
“One of the main consequences of hearing loss is a reduced capacity to communicate,” said Venneta.
“This can have a significant impact on a person’s life through the reduced opportunity for education and employment. It can also put a strain on relationships.”
Hearing Awareness Week will see a range of promotional activities happen across the country, including ‘silent’ sports events, public exhibitions on hearing technologies, and hearing safety training by employers to alert people to the issues.