Hearing Awareness Week is an annual Australian event that seeks to raise greater awareness of the hearing loss community, and the issues affecting it, and to share tips for how people can protect their hearing for longer.
With one in every six Australians experiencing hearing loss or having a chronic ear disorder, it’s surprising to find that the general level of community awareness around hearing related issues is still so low. The mission for Hearing Awareness Week is to spread the knowledge of what 3.5 million Australians live with on a daily basis.
It also provides an opportunity for the 22 per cent of Australians aged 15 and over who are personally impacted by hearing loss to share their experiences and their knowledge in an effort to create better understanding of the needs, aspirations and the contributions that they can make.
Hearing Awareness Week is about dispelling myths and letting the wider Australian community know that there are more possibilities for greater inclusivity than ever before. Employers have more support than ever to make their workplace inclusive and accessible for Australians with a hearing loss.
Given the high number of younger Australians living with hearing loss, it’s important to provide adequate equipment and support for all employees to be able to do their job effectively.
When hosting a meeting, make sure those with hearing loss are seated in such a way as to provide them with clear sound and an unobstructed view of the speaker’s lips.
Where appropriate, seek to provide better audio relay systems in your phone network, or meeting rooms so that users may be able to access audio via their personal hearing devices.
Perfect hearing is precious and fragile, and must be protected. Here are some easy ways to protect your hearing.
Workplace noise is the major cause of noise-induced hearing loss. Noise can create stress, and be a safety hazard at work, interfering with communication. It can act as a distraction and making warnings harder to hear. Reducing noise levels at the source, in addition to providing numerous other workplace benefits, is the most effective way of protecting the hearing of those working in loud environments.
Sustained listening to headphones at levels above 90dB will almost certainly lead to hearing loss. Simply by turning down the volume and talking a break from the headphones or ear buds once an hour will help to prevent damage to the listener’s eardrums.