While Jo Kek-Pamenter’s career as a graphic designer has spanned countless fields, the work closest to her heart is when she can apply her talents to help those with disabilities – inspired by her own life-changing experience as a teen.
“I suffered sudden hearing loss in both ears at age 16, after an adverse reaction to a routine immunisation,” recalled Jo.
“My brother also lost his hearing the same way many years prior, so whilst this was a shock to me, I knew based on watching him thrive that I would also cope and be supported by our family.”
Having worn hearing aids for many years since, Jo found herself becoming progressively frustrated with her existing provider, a “generic audiologist who worked from one of the many chain organisations you see in shopping centres”.
“My past experience was that I was never guided in the technology best suited to my specific hearing loss, and instead I was directed towards the most expensive hearing aids,” said Jo.
“This is clearly detrimental, because as with anything we all have varying needs and preferences. Having initially gone to an audiologist affiliated with specific brands, it was not possible for me to test a variety of models which narrowed down my search for the perfect aid significantly.”
Having worked with the likes of Griffith University, The Hopkins Centre, Menzies Health Institute Queensland and other organisations within the health and disability sectors, it was through a colleague that Jo first learnt of Hear and Say’s then newly established Adult Hearing program.
“It was recommended to me that I visit Hear and Say, given the hearing aid troubles I had faced and the anguish I felt at my existing audiologist putting pressure on me to purchase expensive aids that weren’t right for me,” said Jo.
“Upon my very first appointment with Hear and Say, I was overwhelmed with happy tears. The experience was so friendly and informative, and ever since I have been very happy with the service I’ve received and the follow-up care and advice.”
Jo was also supported by Hear and Say in navigating the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) system, with comprehensive reports and documents provided to support the success of Jo’s NDIS funding application.
“My new hearing aids and the assistive technology accessories I now have are life-changing,” said Jo.
“It is amazing how clearly I can hear with them compared to my older pair, and I can’t recommend Hear and Say highly enough.”