COVID-19 Update

The health and wellbeing of our community is always of utmost priority, particularly during the current ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus). We are continuing to develop our plan for a safe return to in-centre services for all our families and clients, as well as offering our services via Telepractice.

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World-leading experts in hearing technology and listening and spoken language therapy

  • Support early diagnosis to ensure children have the best opportunity to reach key milestones
  • Provide people of all ages with access to world-class audiology and hearing technology
  • Work with families to deliver children’s speech and language through listening
  • Build resilience and wellbeing through group programs
  • Develop parents’ and professionals’ skills and knowledge through evidence-based training and education
  • Advance sector knowledge in collaboration with world-class researchers

The Latest News

Making a Splash: Swimming Lessons ...

When the weather’s heating up, keeping cool often means taking a dip in the pool. For children with hearing loss learning to swim, there are some extra considerations for parents and instructors to take note of to keep everyone safe and having fun in the water. Teaching swimming to kids with hearing loss – 10 top tips   Keep hearing devices on: If possible, ensure kids’ ­­hearing devices are kept on during swimming lessons. Cochlear implants can be worn in the water with a waterproof accessory; most hearing aids can’t be worn swimming unless waterproof. Families should ...

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Listening and Spoken Language in ...

At the core of Hear and Say – as with all First Voice centres – is the importance of connection and communication. With the world having reached the unenviable milestone of over 18 months since the pandemic began, Hear and Say’s Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) team is now a well-oiled machine when it comes to supporting families through a lockdown. Although in thankfully shorter-lived phases as compared with southern counterparts, this unprecedented era of physical Hear and Say centres having to temporarily close has necessitated swift action and innovation to avoid compromised ...

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Helping a Loved One with Hearing ...

Have you noticed you’re constantly repeating yourself to a loved one? Is the volume of their television, radio or tablet often blaring? One in two of us know someone with a hearing loss (The State of Hearing Report, 2019), yet we know it can take up to 10 years to do something about hearing issues after they notice a change (Davis et al., 2007). Hearing loss can have wide-reaching effects not only for the person experiencing it, but also for their family, friends and colleagues. Bringing up the topic with a loved one can be a sensitive conversation, particularly if you think it may ...

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Grandmother’s Gift of Hearing

With a career spanning five decades working with children who are deaf or hard of hearing, Jackie Brown’s personal hearing loss journey later in life still came with its own set of adjustments. “I’d had a hearing test about 20 years ago, and noticed my hearing of high frequency pitches – such as the ‘s’ or ‘f’ sounds when someone was speaking – was gradually starting to taper off,” recalled Jackie. For about 15 years the grandmother-of-seven happily wore hearing aids, until she started to notice these were no longer giving her enough clarity across all the sounds of ...

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NDIS Funding and Assistive ...

For people with hearing loss, assistive technologies can offer great additional support to ensure they can hear and communicate as well as possible. Such devices may be funded under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) for those under the age of 65, however there is plenty of information to first be navigated. Hear and Say’s dedicated NDIS team helps explain below.   What’s assistive technology? Assistive technologies help you to complete daily tasks more easily or safely, and/or help you to do something you couldn’t otherwise due to your disability. This includes ...

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Siblings Shine in Sunny North ...

It’s the classic science experiment that’s been thrilling students for decades: turning everyday pantry staples into an erupting volcano. For Townsville’s six-year-old Thomas, the fizz and crackle of the mock explosion was heard loud and clear, thanks to the hearing aids he wears. “The results of Thomas’ hearing tests in the hospital when he was born came back as a big shock, as we have no family history of hearing loss,” recalled Thomas’ mum, Samantha. “Although I work in the health field as a physiotherapist, we still found it a daunting process looking at a long ...

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Top Tips for Auditory Brainstem ...

In Australia, over 300 babies are born with hearing loss each year. While there can be many reasons why a newborn doesn’t pass their in-hospital hearing screening, all babies who receive a “refer” result require further investigation. The main test a specialist paediatric audiologist will perform at this follow-up appointment is called an Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) test – a safe and painless diagnostic assessment. During an ABR, the audiologist places small headphones and electrodes – little sticky tabs – on the baby’s head, to record responses from the baby’s ...

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Tips for Teachers of Students ...

Classrooms are noisy and tiring environments especially for children with hearing loss, which can significantly impact their ability to learn. Check out these tips for fostering an optimal setting for listening and hearing in the classroom – and remember, good practices for students with hearing loss typically translate to great practices for everyone! Ensure the room is as quiet as possible: Consider fans, background music, noisy thoroughfares and machinery, which all impact a child’s ability to hear clearly. It also makes it harder to concentrate. Reduce echo in a room by having ...

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What Hearing Aid is Best for Me?

Just a few minutes of searching the words ‘hearing aids’ online can present a minefield of information. “The sheer amount of information available to us online today is often overwhelming, and it’s unsurprising that this can put people off taking that step towards improving their hearing,” said Hear and Say Audiology Manager, Julie Decker. “There are so many hearing aid manufacturers and many different models, so finding the best hearing aids for your personal circumstances means a ‘one size fits all’ approach isn’t going to work in most cases.” To work out the ...

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Rapid Relief for Ringing in Ears

Tinnitus is one of the most common ear-related issues, and yet many are left fearing that there’s little to be done about it. This was the case for Jose Silveira who for years was unaware treatment was available for the constant ringing he had in his ears. “I have endured tinnitus for over a decade, and kept being told by various GPs that nothing could be done,” said Jose. “I knew I also had some hearing loss, after nearly 20 years of driving a bus with the window open. In recent years the ringing got a bit worse and really began to impact the things I love doing, such as ...

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Year 12 Yielding Great Adventures

While the year might feel like it’s racing by, for 17-year-old Maddie there are plenty of events still to look forward to. There’s the hefty study commitment of Year 12 to wrap up for a start, as well as mapping out what will come next for life beyond high school. “I’m excited to be achieving great results in all my subjects, including English, maths, business and hospitality,” said Maddie. “I’m also looking at studying pharmacy next year, which I feel will be a good fit for me. It’s a quiet environment and very personable, with lots of different people needing to ...

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Reconnection to Family with ...

With many of his loved ones living interstate, not being able to hear well on the phone wasn’t an option for Brisbane grandfather, Michael Dullahide. “My daughters and grandchildren all live in Melbourne, and so we rely on regular catch ups via the phone or FaceTime,” explained Michael. However, an increasingly noticeable hearing loss had begun to frustratingly interfere with these cherished conversations. “I’m now retired, but I suspect that it was long periods working in a noisy industrial environment together with getting older which have been responsible for my hearing ...

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The Seven Sounds Listening Test

The Seven Sounds is a listening test which uses sounds across the speech frequency range. It’s a handy tool which helps both clinicians and parents to know whether a child is hearing to the best of their ability each day. We sat down with Hear and Say Listening and Spoken Language Team Leader, Claire Flanagan to learn more. “There are seven main speech sounds which make up the frequencies of all the sounds of English speech. The Seven Sounds test was adapted from Dr Daniel Ling’s original Six Sounds, and it’s used in almost every speech therapy session at Hear and Say,” explained ...

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Speech and Language Assessments ...

For a child who has hearing loss, it’s important to regularly assess their ability to pick up sounds across the speech frequencies, together with the development of their language skills. Assessing speech sounds Known as the Seven Sound Test, or the “Ling Sounds”, these move from low to high pitches and cover the main sounds of speech: /ah/, /oo/, /ee/, /m/, /or/, /sh/ and /s/. The sounds are produced by a listening and spoken language therapist or parent standing up to five metres away from the child. They will be asked to imitate the sound, or for very young children be observed ...

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Saskia Gives Back to Kids with ...

Despite the gruelling schedule of Year 12, working at a local pharmacy and keeping up with her favourite sports of hockey and tennis, when 17-year-old Saskia was asked if she’d consider being a mentor for younger children with hearing loss, she had no hesitation in saying yes. “My recent involvement in Hear and Say’s COMET program, which teaches kids communication and problem-solving skills through fun activities, was the best three days I had on my holiday break,” said Saskia. “Being able to meet so many children with hearing loss and listen to them share experiences was ...

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Why I Support Hear and Say: A ...

Tina Worland knows firsthand the impact of Hear and Say’s work, having had two children born deaf who have gone on to hear, speak and achieve their goals. Tina shares her family’s story below, and her passionate ongoing support of the cause through the annual Ladies Long Lunch. My first child was born 23 years ago and had all the bits and bobs he was supposed to – ten fingers, ten toes, hit all the developmental milestones – until he was about four months old. I used to pride myself in my ability to vacuum loudly and not wake him, how I could make a cacophony of sound from the ...

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From Midwifery to Speech Therapy: ...

2020 was a big year for 19-year-old Siena: amidst a global pandemic, she moved out of home for the first time, settled into life at university college, and started studying to become a midwife. Ultimately working towards the goal of undertaking medicine and training as an obstetrician, Siena’s current studies have given her invaluable experience of life on a busy maternity ward. It’s been a demanding time by any standards, but it’s a chapter Siena said she has relished. “I’m now in my second year of a Bachelor of Midwifery and absolutely love it. I’m very passionate about ...

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Sweet Success for Sophie

Sophie may not yet have celebrated her third birthday, but she is already a big help in the kitchen. From her home on the Sunshine Coast where she lives with her parents and older brother, Sophie loves baking up a storm – not forgetting the all-important final task of licking the beaters. Sophie was born with hearing loss in both ears relating to a genetic condition known as Treacher Collins syndrome, as well as microtia and atresia (underdevelopment of the external part of the ear and absence of the ear canal). Sophie wears hearing aids – purple and pink, her favourite colours – ...

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Hearing and Speech Goes Hand in ...

Working as an audiologist in a university-based clinic, Roisin Higgins is uniquely equipped in her work teaching students and clients about hearing loss. “I first got hearing aids when I was four years old, which is around when my hearing loss was first diagnosed. It was in December and my new devices really felt like a Christmas present both for me and my family!” recalled Roisin. In the past few years Roisin’s hearing had begun slowly deteriorating again, after staying stable during early adulthood. “It was actually everyone wearing masks during the coronavirus pandemic that ...

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Learning to Hear and Speak in Two ...

For one-year-old Abby, a dog might say, “woof woof” or “гав-гав” depending on the story. Being raised to speak both English and Russian, Abby was a much-anticipated first baby for Sunshine Coast parents Joel and Yuliya. “It’s such interesting times for us as Abby changes so much – every month she shows us something different, and we learn as parents too,” said Yuliya. “Abby always wakes up early, her hearing aids go on straight away, and we all have breakfast together as a family. The rest of our day is usually spent being out in the backyard listening to the ...

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