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Listen Up! Conference prepares employers

With escalating rates in youth hearing loss, the onus is on employers to provide inclusive workplaces. How that will impact them is the focus of a National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing symposium.

The Listen Up! conference, in Auckland on October 2, will address the nation’s need to tackle the mounting rates of youth hearing loss and the impact this health crisis will have on workplaces in the very near future.

The powerful line-up of key speakers includes clinical psychologist Nigel Latta, mental health advocate Mike King, Minister for Disability Issues, Hon. Carmel Sepuloni and Natasha Gallardo, chief executive of National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (NFDHH).

“Our pilot youth-screening programme has revealed a shocking prevalence for hearing loss in high-school students, and these pupils are the employees of the future,” Gallardo says. “There is an onus on employers to ensure their workplaces cater for their needs, and provide an inclusive environment. Without that staff can feel isolated and that leads to low morale.”

In New Zealand, hearing loss affects around 11 per cent of the workforce – approximately 300,000 people aged between 20 and 65. This could double in the next decade given global rates of hearing loss in youth is one in five.

Having the capability to work alongside employees and customers with hearing loss, and being aware of the signs of hearing loss, is increasingly important in the workplace.

“The Listen Up! conference will outline the impact of youth hearing loss and what steps employers can take to create a right work environment and – importantly – how we can all tackle noise-induced hearing loss to stem the trend,” Gallardo says.

Attendees will be able to gain authentic insights into the experiences of a new generation living and working with hearing loss, and be better placed to retain valued employees who have a hearing loss.

Included in the day-long conference will be strategies and approaches for conducting business to better accommodate new employees with hearing loss, helping employers be leaders in diversity, inclusion and organisational change.

Listen Up! 2019 – Tackling Youth Hearing Loss

How this impacts you as an employer

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Sky City Convention Centre

Auckland

Early bird from $400 per person (plus booking fee)

www.nfd.org.nz

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