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A Better Future For Deaf And Hearing Impaired

26 August 2005

A Better Future For Deaf And Hearing Impaired

New Zealand's 450,000 Deaf and hearing impaired people are set to benefit from a unique conference being organised by the National Foundation for the Deaf (NFD) in September.

For the first time, a diverse group of people who have an interest in the wellbeing of New Zealand's Deaf and hearing impaired communities will come together to identify the challenges and opportunities facing Deaf and hearing impaired people over the next 10 or so years.

Marianne Schumacher, executive manager of the National Foundation for the Deaf said the conference will unite all groups that are currently working within the deaf and hearing impaired sectors.

"The idea is to exchange ideas, experiences and future visions which will lead us to identifying the real issues facing Deaf and hearing impaired people. The conference will provide the opportunity for attendees to dissect and discuss topics relating to the future of technology, bio technology and the social and cultural shifts that will impact on the lives of people with hearing loss.

"The NFD will take some of these issues forward by initiating projects that will help to eliminate barriers facing hearing impaired and Deaf people in New Zealand," said Ms Schumacher.

Speakers include the founding chair of the Australian Futures Foundation, Jan Lee Martin; Prof. Peter Thorne and Dr Grant Searchfield from the Audiology Section at The University of Auckland, New Zealand Futurist, Robin Gunston and Victoria Manning from the Office for Disability Issues.

The conference, which is being held during Deaf Awareness Week, is expected to attract a diverse range of professionals, community representatives and service providers to the Deaf.

NFD's Foundations for the Future conference is being held 24th/25th September 2005 in Auckland. For further information or registration visit www.nfd.org.nz

ENDS

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