Hearing loss affects all aspects of a person’s life – Anne’s story
I started to lose my hearing when I was about 20 years old. I wear a bone anchored hearing aid (Baha), a behind-the-ear hearing aid and use a FM. My name is Anne.
My hearing loss is hereditary, bilateral and progressive, and as far back as we can remember generations of females in my family have had hearing loss.
My mother was deaf and a very gregarious and gracious lady, but was at times excluded due to her inability to hear. My mother’s experience affected me deeply and when I started to lose my hearing, I was determined that equity and access were vital lenses through which to view the world.
Hearing loss affects all aspects of a person’s life: belonging, communication, education, and access to health services, information and technology.
School students need routine hearing testing before they start primary and high school. Captioning needs to go mainstream providing access to information for all, and for educational videos in school and tertiary studies. As people enter the workforce they need financial support, via tax deductions, for purchase and maintenance of hearing technology and /or Auslan interpreter services.
Hearing health and well-being needs to be a national health priority to ensure each individual’s needs and choices for communication are respected, and the necessary services and financial supports made available.