Prompted by startling figures which show up to four school-age children in every 1,000 have hearing loss, Hear and Say and QCoal Foundation have joined forces in an exciting new partnership to support regional and remote students to thrive.
“We know that people living outside major metropolitan areas are more likely to experience hearing-related issues than people residing within major metropolitan areas, coupled by the fact that hearing loss is often describe as an ‘invisible disability’,” said Hear and Say CEO, Chris McCarthy.
“Hearing loss can also have significant consequences for children’s development, impacting learning as well as social and emotional wellbeing. That’s why ongoing monitoring and specialised support throughout children’s school years is critical, to ensure they maintain the outcomes achieved through early intervention.
“This is especially true for those living in regional, rural and remote Queensland communities, where specialist support in schools and other education settings can be much scarcer than in major cities.”
In 2018, Hear and Say and QCoal Foundation partnered together to tackle the challenge of supporting school-aged children in regional Queensland with hearing loss through highly specialised speech and language support via telepractice.
QCoal Foundation CEO Sylvia Bhatia explained that the Foundation’s Directors had been very impressed with the work of Hear and Say during the partnership and were keen to further support children with hearing loss.
“Hear and Say kept us updated on their work and, in particular, their experience during Covid, which saw over 70 per cent of their services temporarily transitioned to telepractice,” Ms Bhatia said.
“We have proudly partnered with Hear and Say to develop a telepractice program to support school-aged children in regional Queensland to develop and maintain optimal listening, speech and language outcomes, social skills and access to the school curriculum,” Ms Bhatia said.
“We are delighted to be teaming up with Hear and Say once again, to help ensure that school-age children who are deaf or hard of hearing aren’t left behind and can go on to reach their goals – regardless of where they live.”
Check out this story about six-year-old Evie from Rockhampton, who is benefiting from Hear and Say’s school-age support.
Stay tuned for further information as this exciting partnership unfolds!