Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens disability spokesperson has today joined with members of the HEARing Cooperative Research Centre to launch their new cochlear implant training module, which will boost remote hearing health services.
"This is an amazing project that promises to help many Australians living in rural, regional and remote parts of the country. I am so pleased that such an important announcement is coming during Hearing Awareness Week," Senator Siewert said today.
"This new module will improve access to specialised cochlear implant fitting procedures for patients, families and professionals living in regional, rural and remote areas. It will train people in the use of technology to remotely adjust a cochlear implants characteristics, to best suit the listening needs of an implantee, something that has previously only been possible in cities and larger regional towns.
"This is a very important step for widening access to services and improving people's quality of care, and it shows the results that come from ongoing investment in research and development.
"I encourage commitment to long term investments in services which help reduce the impact of hearing loss, along with efforts to reduce the prevalence of hearing loss in our community.
"The Hear Us Senate Committee report found that hearing health was not the national priority it should be which is why the Greens have developed a $368.2 million plan to put hearing health on the agenda this election. We have announced initiatives to help support the 1 in 6 Australians who suffer from some degree of hearing loss and to address hearing loss among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
"I am pleased that today's launch will benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Hearing loss represents a serious health and educational issue for Aboriginal children with significant lifelong implications. Rates of ear disease and hearing loss in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are up to ten times national averages, and I welcome efforts to reduce this number.
"I congratulate everyone at the HEARing Cooperative Research Centre for their ongoing work," Senator Siewert concluded.