Media release – parties unite to Break the Sound Barrier
NSW politicians and the deaf and hard of hearing community will kick off Hearing Awareness Week (August 21-28) by experiencing what it’s like to live with hearing loss in a silent touc
h football game outside Parliament House this morning.
The inaugural NSW Parly Silent Sports Challenge will play with usual touch footy rules – but no talking and no whistles – and a referee using recognised hand signals, in a bid to give players a window into a world with no hearing.
The game will break down political and sound barriers to raise awareness about hearing health and the need for greater community understanding about the challenges of living with hearing loss.
Deafness Forum of Australian Chair and Break the Sound Barrier Spokesperson, David Brady, said one in six people, or close to four million Australians, experience hearing loss or an ear condition such as Meniere’s Disease and tinnitus but it was often invisible in the community.
“People are always shocked at how hard a simple thing such as a touch football game is with no hearing or speaking for 40 minutes. Imagine then what it’s like then a work, at school or even trying to do the shopping.”
Break the Sound Barrier will today launch a national petition urging Commonwealth and state governments to make hearing health and well-being a National Health Priority Area.
“Hearing loss is expected to affect one in four people by 2050 but it’s not one of Australia’s National Health Priority Areas which receive funding for education, services, and research,” Mr Brady said.
“That means almost 4 million Australians are not receiving the support they need to live healthy lives and reach their potential.
“It means children are falling through the gaps at school; people with chronic and debilitating conditions are not being given hope of a cure; and family budgets are straining to cope with the cost hearing aids they need just to work.”
Break the Sound Barrier is Australia’s largest hearing health and well-being campaign. Sign the petition http://breakthesoundbarrier.org.au/make-hearing-health-a-priority/