The HearMe Project is working to a world of hearing equality closer.
If we don’t have an inclusive society, the impacts of hearing conditions are not just physiological, the impacts are emotional, they’re psychological, they’re social and we need to take this into account.
Soundfair exists to eliminate the social and emotional impacts of hearing conditions and to create a world of hearing equality for everyone – particularly those most vulnerable – through connection and participation. In order to effectively reflect and address the social determinants of health related to living with hearing conditions, our approach to advocacy is deeply rooted in stories of lived experience. And while every story is different, reflecting each individual’s unique life journey, there are points of commonality – the shared experience of living in a society that is both actively and passively disabling.
We have identified ten such areas of commonality that require society-wide action:
- the need to embed the centrality and multiplicity of lived experience within all interventions
- the value of addressing hearing within a public health framework
- the individual’s disabling experience of the built environment
- the social factors that seed discrimination
- reimagining the hearing services sector
- investing in and providing assistive technologies
- the provision of captioning
- the opportunities of Auslan
- tinnitus as a heavy and unaddressed public health burden
- how aspects of an individual’s position within society combine with their hearing condition to create needs that are unmet by our current medical model of hearing care
We believe businesses, governments, communities and health professionals can learn more and do more. The HearMe Project is bringing together the multidisciplinary expertise from government, community, medicine, allied health, business and academia. We are encouraging the necessary discussions relating to the most pressing challenges, as identified by people with hearing conditions, while encouraging collaboration and partnerships to deliver effective change. It is about reimagining what our world can be.
The HearMe project’s strength will come the breadth of its consultation partners and will be of interest, not to mention value, to anyone working in the following areas:
- Health policy
- Disability studies
- Assistive technology
- Civil engineering/architecture