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Hearing Awareness Week: 1 – 7 March 2021

Hearing NZ President Tony Rush with guest speaker Professor David Welch, and Chessie Egan from the Audiological Society in this picture from the previous event in 2020.

Hearing New Zealand and its 23 Branches throughout New Zealand are preparing for this year’s Hearing Awareness Week in March.

World Hearing Day 2021 marks the launch of the World Health Organisation (WHO) World Report on Hearing, presenting a global call for action to address hearing loss and ear diseases across the life course.

The theme for World Hearing Day 2021 is:

Hearing care for ALL!

Screen. Rehabilitate. Communicate

World Hearing Day is the ideal opportunity to spread the word and raise the profile of ear and hearing care in peoples’ minds, in the world’s media and on the global health agenda.

The National Hearing New Zealand office will be running its annual Silent Breakfast event again on Sunday 7 March at Hearing Auckland on St Vincent’s Ave in Remuera – entry via donation - watch their website for more details!!

The charity invites individuals, schools, workplaces and community groups to hold their own Silent Breakfast and donate the money raised to their local Hearing Association or online at www.hearing.org.nz

The purpose of the Hearing Awareness Week campaign is to:

  • change attitudes towards hearing loss
  • increase understanding and empathy for those living with a hearing loss
  • promote safe listening practices at home, at school and in the workplace
  • raising funds for local hearing support use

Past President and current Board member Tony Rush says “we have a number of projects planned in 2021 including our Dangerous Decibels training in schools around the country which will see us educate thousands of young people about how to keep their hearing safe in a fun and engaging way. This year will mark the launch of our re-utilising hearing aids project, providing New Zealanders who are unable to afford hearing aids the option to apply for free pre-loved hearing aids. We have also been busy visiting a number of music festivals giving out free ear plugs and encouraging people to protect their hearing in noisy environments. In order to make these projects happen, we need the financial backing to fund them.”

Hearing loss is a growing issue and the World Health Organisation estimates the number of young people experiencing hearing loss to grow due to the prevalence of noise-induced hearing loss. Hearing New Zealand work hard to educate people (particularly youth) about noise-induced hearing loss and how to keep their hearing safe. Global data shows that one in five young people have a hearing loss and this number is likely to double over the next 30 years. We'd like to prevent this predicted increase educating young people and changing attitudes around safe listening.

Hearing NZ is a not-for-profit charity and receive no government funding, they rely on the generous support of volunteers and donors so that they can continue to support, educate and advocate for the hearing-impaired community. Hearing NZ recognise the importance of research in improving the lives of those living with a hearing loss but also in prevention, and commission their own research projects as well and support other hearing-related research so that they can make positive changes.

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