The main goal of the Outreach Program is to shed light on the invisibility of hearing loss. Some in the hearing community are unaware of the problems and difficulties encountered in everyday situations by individuals who are hard of hearing. Because hearing loss is invisible and often misunderstood, CHIP’s Outreach Program strives to educate, sensitize, and inform the public about hearing loss.
The program is supported by a team of experts who live with hearing loss and are available to meet with groups, institutions, organizations and health care professionals to raise awareness, educate, and network. The emphasis is on promoting an understanding of hearing loss and its impact, and on providing services, resources, and useful information. Through the Outreach Program, community leaders, hospital staff, religious groups, staff of seniors’ residences and nursing homes, CEGEPs and service clubs are made aware of the difficulties faced by those with hearing loss, and of possible solutions. Programs are tailored to meet the needs of each group requesting the service.
Audiometric results from the 2012/2013 Canadian Health Measures Survey reported that high-frequency hearing loss was prevalent in 35.4% of Canadians aged 20 to 70.
Part of our rationale for offering our Outreach Program is to educate all persons about the serious impact of hearing loss, and to encourage them to act constructively if hearing loss is suspected.
Technological advances in assistive listening devices are also discussed.
The Outreach Program is designed to:
- Help people identify and adjust to hearing loss;
- Share strategies about our own hearing losses and how we cope;
- Provide hard of hearing persons with the knowledge and skills to help them move forward;
- Promote self-advocacy;
- Increase understanding of hearing loss;
- Raise awareness of those working with or caring for people who are hard of hearing;
- Publicize various CHIP programs;
- Describe and demonstrate some of the latest assistive listening devices;
- Explain Government services available for the hard of hearing.