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«THE ECONOMIC IMPACT AND COST OF HEARING LOSS IN AUSTRALIA A report by Access Economics Pty Ltd February 2006 Listen Hear! The economic impact and ...»

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In Australia alone, over 3 million adults and children suffer from hearing disabilities.

With rising noise levels in everyday life, and the ageing of the population, the number of people with hearing loss will continue to rise.

To address these problems, The Cooperative Research Centre for Cochlear Implant and Hearing Aid Innovation (CRC HEAR) was first established in 1992, and renewed in 1999, with the aims to improve communication for hearing-impaired adults and children.

To achieve this goal, CRC HEAR works with industry partners to conduct specialist research leading to innovative new hearing technology products including multichannel cochlear implants with increased capabilities, totally implantable neuroelectric and acoustic hearing prostheses, as well as intelligent hearing aids for those with mild and moderate hearing losses. Research is also concentrated on developing innovative clinical procedures and products to enhance benefits for users of hearing devices and reduce health care service delivery costs. Developments may also have application in telecommunications or aligned fields.

The CRC provides a unique interdisciplinary team and the collaboration of its Core Parties – Australian Hearing, Cochlear Limited, the University of Melbourne, Siemens Hearing Instruments Australia and the Bionic Ear Institute – together with the involvement of other commercial, university, hospital and hearing healthcare agency partners will help ensure that speech processing and technology outcomes are commercially relevant and feasible.

The research objectives of the CRC are:

to conduct research leading to innovations enabling new hearing technology products;

to conduct research leading to innovative clinical procedures that enhance benefits to users of hearing devices;

to provide innovative postgraduate training with enhanced employment prospects, and to develop new approaches expanding professional training in the field; and to provide innovative technology transfer activities to ensure that Centre research and education outcomes result in improved communication benefits for hearing impaired adults and children.


The Victorian Deaf Society (Vicdeaf), founded in 1884, provides a range of services to the estimated 1 million Victorians who are deaf or hard of hearing. Vicdeaf is a membership charity employing around 175 staff. During the last financial year, Vicdeaf spent $10 million in its endeavours to substantially improve quality of life for deaf and hard of hearing people.

–  –  –

Key activities comprise providing information and raising awareness, delivering training courses and consultancy on deafness and disability, and campaigning and advocacy work. Vicdeaf is the largest single Auslan communication support agency in Victoria and its services include sign language interpreters, lip speakers and note takers. It


a comprehensive employment program to help deaf and vision impaired people into work;

an extensive audiology and rehabilitation service;

a comprehensive case management and support service; and a range of services for deaf and hard of hearing people with additional needs.


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