Helping children to reach their full potential.

A message from Hear and Say’s Founder and CEO

SBS’s Insight episode airing Tuesday, 15 June 2021, The Deaf Divide, explores a range of Australians’ experiences about growing up deaf. Hear and Say was pleased to participate through our founder, Dr Dimity Dornan; our clinical team; and a Hear and Say family whose children are in our program.

The sector is very passionate about the varied and at times conflicting positions that individuals, professionals and communities come from, and we encourage respectful forums for sharing stories and opinions from all perspectives.

The majority of children with hearing loss are born to parents who communicate through hearing and speaking, and we have been supporting families who choose listening and speaking for their child for almost 30 years.

Hear and Say graduate, Megan Rowe – now 29 and working in the disability sector – articulated her thoughts prior to the episode airing: “I’m so glad my parents made the choice for me, because I wouldn’t have the opportunities I have now if they didn’t. My hearing loss is my ‘Oh by the way…’ and doesn’t define everything about my identity.”

Research shows that through early diagnosis, the latest technology and evidence-based, highly specialised speech therapy, speech and language outcomes for children born deaf can be on par with children without hearing loss. Our approach has always been grounded in the importance of recognising parents and caregivers as the first language teachers of their child, and their choice to communicate in the primary language of the home.

Should you wish to find out more about Hear and Say’s services, or if any of the topics highlighted by Insight raise any questions for you, your family or networks, we would love to hear from you.


Dr Dimity Dornan AO – Founder and Executive Director

Chris McCarthy – Chief Executive Officer


Maia’s Story

At 9.10pm on 24 October 2013 our beautiful daughter Maia was born. 

The moment of elation was short-lived as we immediately noticed her left ear was missing. I frantically looked to the medical team around me for answers but received none.

Panic set in as we waited 4 days in hospital for an ENT to explain her condition, by which point we already had all the answers from Simone, who runs the Microtia and Atresia Program at Hear and Say.

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