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

Hear and Now: Meet Jessica

Newly graduated from a nursing degree, a lifelong drive has shaped 21-year-old Jessica’s professional goals. “I have always had a huge passion for helping others, and worked in disability support and nursing for over two years while finishing off my studies,” said Jessica. “I’ve just started a new job as a registered nurse working in complex disability care, in a residential facility with an amazing group of clients and an awesome team. It’s been great so far, and I feel blessed to be able to continue working in this area following the roles I took on while at ...

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Swell Success for Coast Teen

Anywhere out in the sunshine or with saltwater in her hair is 13-year-old Emily’s self-declared happy place. From surfing with her friends and sisters, to Nippers at the local lifesaving club, to Netball with her school team at Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School,  to bushwalking with her family – even amidst pandemic lockdowns, it’s a full life for the active Year Seven student. Crediting physical education as one of her favourite school subjects therefore comes as no surprise, but it’s not only in the great outdoors where Emily shines. For the past two years Emily has also ...

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What Happens if My Hearing Aids ...

It’s a common scenario: you get caught in a downpour; someone jumps into the pool nearby and causes a big splash; you forget you’re wearing your hearing aids and take a dive in the ocean. If your hearing aids get wet and face a quick soaking, don’t panic. Hearing aids are measured against a classification system called the International Protection (IP). This demonstrates the degree to which they are protected from liquids and other fine matter. “Most modern hearing aid models have an IP68 rating, meaning they can withstand dirt, dust, sand and being submerged in water. In fact, ...

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How do Cochlear Implants Work?

Australian surgeon, Professor Graeme Clark successfully performed the world’s first cochlear implant surgery – marking a new era of opportunity for people with significant hearing loss. Like most technology, the cochlear implant has rapidly transformed since its early iterations. Gone are the long cords or battery packs that users were once required to wear, now replaced with barely-visible processors and even Bluetooth streaming. Hear and Say Head of Audiology, Julie Decker works in a team which oversees hundreds of children who use cochlear implants to hear and speak. She sat down ...

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Triumphs through speech ...

Since some of the earliest days of Hear and Say’s history, telepractice appointments have meant children can access specialist speech therapy services regardless of where they live. Telehealth means that families don’t just come from around the centres’ physical locations in Ashgrove, Varsity Lakes, Nambour, Toowoomba and Townsville. As Listening and Spoken Language Specialist, Emma Heberlein explains, the past three decades have seen Hear and Say supporting children to listen and speak in towns everywhere from Weipa to Barcaldine to Tully; across the globe; and hundreds of places ...

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From the Desk of… Eleni Michael

A peek into a speech therapy room at Hear and Say often reveals an appointment in action filled with lots of toys, singing songs and imaginary play. It might look like just fun and games, but behind the scenes is an individually-tailored plan which works to develop a child’s specific, age-appropriate speech and language goals. Eleni Michael, Listening and Spoken Language Specialists at our Gold Coast centre, explains.     Books: A great way to expose children to lots of different sounds, language and speech is through reading. We recommend parents/carers aim to ...

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Spotlight on Single-Sided ...

Research plays a critical role at Hear and Say, helping us bridge the gap between science and better hearing outcomes for people affected by any type of hearing loss. One of our recent projects specifically looked into the benefits of cochlear implants for children with hearing loss in only one ear, which is known as unilateral or single-sided deafness. Left untreated, single-sided deafness can significantly impact a child’s development, listening and learning. It also reduces the ability to identify the location of a sound source or person speaking, particularly with background ...

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Meat at Billy’s Recipe for ...

Make no mis-steak: the longstanding partnership between an iconic Brisbane butcher and Hear and Say has generated far more than just an opportunity for beefed up puns. For over five years, Billy Gibney and the team at Meat at Billy’s have rallied together with their stores’ local communities to raise incredible awareness and over $34,000 in donations for Hear and Say, across a range of projects and campaigns. Such dedication has seen Billy take a brave plunge off the Goodwill Bridge (dressed as a bull, no less); staff dressed in their brightest outfits for Loud Shirt Day; ...

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End of an Era for CEO, Chris

This edition we say a big farewell and heartfelt thanks to Chris McCarthy, who recently handed over the reins as Chief Executive Officer. Hear from Chris as he reflects on an incredible journey over almost 15 years.  “At Hear and Say we acknowledge the rare opportunity it is to watch, guide and support a family to help their child grow through their hearing journey. I also know how uniquely fortunate I have been to be part of Hear and Say growing and flourishing, to have seen many children in our programs turn into young adults, and to have celebrated births, graduations, marriages ...

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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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