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Hearing Awareness Week

Rachel Siewert 22 Aug 2011

Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia—Australian Greens Whip) (16:34):  I, and also on behalf of Senator Fifield and Senator McLucas, move:

That the Senate—
 (a) notes:
  (i) that the week beginning 21 August 2011 is national Hearing Awareness Week and the theme for 2011 is 'I'm ready for anything! Is anything ready for me?',
  (ii) that the theme recognises that for the 3.55 million Australians with hearing impairment, technology is providing more possibilities than ever before to assist their inclusion in society,
  (iii) that improvements in technology have minimised the barriers to communication,
  (iv) that technology is also making huge inroads into improving the quality of educational access and employers have more support than ever to make their workplace inclusive and accessible for Australians with a hearing impairment,
  (v) the incredible innovations that have been made by a number of Australian organisations into assistive technologies,
  (vi) the 'Hear Us' inquiry undertaken by the Community Affairs References Committee in 2010,
  (vii) the ongoing work that is required to improve hearing health in Australia as well as ensuring that Australians with a hearing impairment are not excluded,
  (viii) the funding commitments to the Better Start for Children with Disability program which provides flexible funding for early intervention services to parents of children with hearing impairment, and
  (ix) the additional funding provided to the Hearing Services Program which provides extended eligibility for young people to hearing aids, services and cochlear speech processors, increased access to hearing aids and cochlear speech processors for more children, and additional hearing services and aids for Indigenous adults and people with complex hearing problems; and
 (b) seeks the Australian Government to: 
  (i) continue raising awareness of hearing impairment and chronic ear disorders in order to:
 (a) reduce the incidence of hearing loss and/or chronic ear disorders,
 (b) increase the public awareness of the needs and aspirations of hearing impaired Australians, and
 (c) promote inclusion and understanding of hearing impaired Australians,
  (ii) provide access to technologies, organisations and communities that can improve engagement in education, employment and community,
  (iii) continue to support organisations that provide assistance to hearing impaired individuals, their families, communities, employers and schools,
  (iv) continue to support and fund Australian hearing health research and innovation, and
  (v) continue to implement the recommendations of the Hear Us: Inquiry into Hearing Health in Australia report with an emphasis on inclusion. 
I invite all our Senate colleagues to visit the hearing expo in the Main Committee room today and tomorrow. You will learn heaps.

Question agreed to. 

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