Pirasha Maru is a friendly new face in the Hear and Say Audiology team. Having recently graduated from her Master of Audiology at The University of Queensland, Pirasha said she is most looking forward to helping children living with hearing loss to improve their overall quality of life.
In 2017, Pirasha joined fellow Masters student, Philippa Horn together with two screeners from the Hear and Say team, to take the Hear and Say Hear to Learn school hearing screening program into regional Queensland for the first time, an initiative made possible thanks to the support of Hear and Say’s longstanding partner, Thiess.
Pirasha and Philippa assisted in screening the hearing of over 100 children across primary schools in the regional Queensland communities of Dysart and Nebo.
“This trip was the start to an exciting collaboration between Hear and Say and Thiess – screening children’s hearing and ear health test to identify those who may be struggling with their speech and language, educational goals and/or behaviour,” said Pirasha.
In Dysart, 68 children from Prep to Year Six were screened, with the team quickly identifying some children affected by hearing loss. These children will receive support through further GP assessment and audiological testing. The following day, 50 children at Nebo State School also had their hearing tested.
“The schools’ excitement for our visits and infectious enthusiasm made the screening process so enjoyable and successful – and the ability to identify children with hearing loss highlights the importance of school hearing screening in these regional communities,” said Pirasha.
“Particularly as a recent graduate, I really valued the opportunity to see firsthand the impact that Hear and Say and Thiess are creating in these communities already. I’m thrilled to now be a member of the Hear and Say Audiology team, and look forward to seeing how Hear to Learn continues to evolve and shape brighter futures for children with hearing and ear health issues and their families.”
By the end of the 2017 school year, Hear to Learn screened the hearing of almost 20,000 Queensland students since the program was established in March 2015. The program will continue to reach even greater numbers of students in 2018.