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The imperative

In March 2019, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) endorsed the first  Roadmap for Hearing Health to improve the lives of the millions of Australians affected by hearing loss.

With the Federal and State governments now charged with responsibility for implementing more than 140 recommendations in the Roadmap, it is crucial the hearing health sector is part of the decision-making and ensures adequate resources are allocated.

The Hearing Health Sector Alliance is well-placed to hold governments to account to ensure all Australians who are deaf or hard of hearing can live well in the community and access vital education, services and technology.

The Alliance membership is of national representatives across the hearing health sector, including consumer groups, health professionals, industry associations, as well as research organisations. It will continue to grow with new member organisations.

Hearing is intrinsic to the lives of most Australians. It underpins the conversations that form the basis of our relationships and social lives, it gives us access to the beauty of music, and it can warn us of approaching danger. Hearing seems so natural that is not until it is gone or affected in some way that we realise how much we have taken it for granted. From Still Waiting To Be Heard

One in six Australians currently has a hearing loss at an economic and social cost to the community of $33 billion a year.

Prevalence is expected to more than double to 7.8 million people – or nearly one in every five people – affected by hearing loss by 2060.

Almost half (49%) of childhood hearing loss is preventable, and so is over a third of adult hearing loss.

Aboriginal children are 4 times more likely to receive ear surgery and are 3 times more likely to suffer permanent hearing loss compared to non-Indigenous children.

Emerging research is showing hearing loss is also associated with other health conditions such as dementia.