NFDHH are working hard to ensure hearing health is prioritised at every age and to raise awareness of the experiences of Deaf and hard of hearing Kiwis.
Our school, pre-school and workplace programmes focus on three main principles: creating more inclusive environments for preschool children, students and employees who are Deaf or hard of hearing; the prevention of hearing loss; and ensuring a timely diagnosis and support is available.
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Our Hearing Screening Programme has expanded rapidly since launching in 2019. To date, we’ve checked the hearing of 3963 students and provided valuable education on how to protect their precious ears from harmful noise.
In 2023, we aim to deliver this programme to 60 secondary schools throughout New Zealand. This is vital as globally 1 in 5 young people now have a disabling hearing loss and this is expected to double over the next 30 years if we do nothing.
In 2022, 24% of year 9 students were picked up with an abnormal screening result.
Even a mild hearing loss can have life-long impacts on education, social well-being and mental health. NFDHH’s Hearing Screening Programme is essential for ensuring the early signs of hearing loss are picked up as young people start their secondary school education.
That is why we are striving to reach more schools but need your support. As NFDHH does not receive government funding, we rely on the generosity of private donors and funders to enable us to continue to deliver our important programmes and services.
Our ears are more fragile than many of us realise and often young people don't know they are permanently damaging their hearing until it's too late. Sadly, once your hearing is gone it's gone.
The Make Listening Safe Programme is all about educating young people about the risks of preventable hearing loss. Our world is noisier than ever before and recreational noise is everywhere. This programme is all about teaching young people how to enjoy music and other recreational noise, but safely, and not at the cost of their hearing.
If you would like to receive information about this programme, please request more information here. You can also support this programme by donating here.
Small ears are fragile. Managing harmful noise around them is essential.
The Sound Monkey is a sound monitoring device designed for preschool environments. It enables teachers to visually monitor and record sound levels and educate little ones on how to look after their fragile ears. View brochure.
1 in 5 young people globally now have a disabling hearing loss.
This number is expected to double over the next 30 years if we do nothing.
Together, we can combat this devastating trend.
Sponsor a child's hearing screening
With your help, young people’s hearing loss will no-longer go undiagnosed and untreated.
Today we’re asking you to sponsor a child's Hearing Screening. It costs $65 to screen one child's hearing. Supporting this programme, you’ll be helping to change a life and inspire more young people to value their hearing.
Youth Hearing Loss Report 2021
In 2021, NFDHH carried out a study exploring the screening results and listening habits of 1,305 year-nine students.
This report follows on from a study done in 2020, giving readers a snapshot of the results from the Foundation’s year-nine screening programme during 2021.
The report also briefly discusses the economic and social costs associated with youth hearing loss.
You can download the full report below.
Did you know that your ears have a weekly sound allowance?
What happens when you listen to music for too long and too loud?
It can help to think of the hair cells in your ears being like a fresh patch of grass and loud music being like a group of people trampling on the grass.
Before anyone walks on the grass, the blades stand up right and tall. But, as people continue to walk on the grass the blades become flattened. If people stop walking on the grass, after a few days, some blades of grass might pop back up and stand straight again.
But, if people continue to trample over the same patch of grass, the grass begins to die, and the damage becomes permanent.
How does your weekly sound allowance work?
Think of your weekly sound allowance like an empty glass.
You can fill it up with water slowly over the week with just a little water each day. Or you can fill it up all in one go.
Filling the glass up all in one go is like listening to music on max volume. This means you’ll use up all your weekly sound allowance very quickly.
That's why it's important to monitor how loudly and for how long you listen every week.
Are you staying within your weekly sound allowance?
If you want to keep your hearing for life, it’s important to keep your listening within the weekly sound allowance.
Check out Lily McManus’ video to learn more about weekly limits for everyday sounds. Or download our Weekly Sound Allowance Poster and use this to gauge how well you are staying within your allowance.
Check your hearing health
The more we know about our hearing health the better we can look after our hearing in the future. That’s why it’s a good idea to regularly monitor any changes.
Look after your hearing and help raise funds to support our work.
Join Triton Hearing’s Great Big Hearing Check this March for Hearing Awareness Month, and for every hearing check completed, NFDHH will receive $1 to go towards our Hearing Screening Programme in schools.
Wear your earplugs correctly
Ear plugs can be an important defence against harmful sound, that’s why it’s important to insert them properly.
Roll the ear plug with clean hands into as narrow a tube as you can. Reach over your head with your free hand and pull you ear gently up and slightly out to help open up the ear canal. Insert the rolled up earplug with a slight turning motion until it is well inside your ear canal.
Top 8 Tips for Looking After Hearing for Life
Want to know more about your ears and how to stay within your weekly sound allowance?
Keep volumes as low as possible while listening to music - below the halfway mark
Ask a friend if they can hear your headphones music. If they can, turn the volume down.
Never use music to drown out other noises.
Use headphones instead of earbuds.
Give your ears a break from music for at least five minutes every hour.
Wear earplugs. They help to reduce noise levels, which makes for safer listening.
Pay attention to the warnings signs of hearing loss, such as ringing in the ears.
If it's uncomfortably loud or painful, leave.
How does it work?
The Sound Monkey absorbs sound through a frequency sensitive filter that mimics the human ear. It indicates when sound levels are harmful - using a simple traffic light system featured in the Monkey’s mouth: Green smile for safe sound levels; orange downturned mouth for caution; and red downturned mouth for too loud.
Teachers and kids can also refer to the Sound Monkey app to see how well they've stayed on top of harmful sounds each week. It is great for classrooms and play areas, encouraging kids to be aware of harmful sounds and noise levels throughout the day. View brochure.
Safe Listening Tips for Early Childhood Learning Centres
One of the most effective ways to ensure our littlest Kiwis have healthy hearing for life is to teach them about safe listening habits before they reach school. By following these simple tips, you can help create a quieter, safer, and more comfortable preschool environment for children and adults.
1. Keep the volume down: Try to keep noise levels at a maximum of 75 decibels (dB). A simple way to check if the noise is too loud is if you need to raise your voice to be heard.
2. Teach children about noise levels: Explain to children the importance of protecting their hearing and encourage them to speak up if they feel that noise levels are too high.
3. Use sound-absorbing materials: Carpets, curtains, and soft furnishings can help reduce noise levels by absorbing sound.
4. Encourage quiet activities: Reading, drawing, and playing with quiet toys can help reduce noise levels.
5. Avoid noisy toys: Remove toys that produce loud or sharp sounds, such as electronic toys with loud music.
6. Try to reduce the the outside noises: If your preschool is located near a busy road, try to keep windows and doors that face the traffic closed to reduce the amount of outside noise.
7. Manage the "café effect": In situations where multiple conversations are happening, encourage educators to get children's attention using silent gestures and to speak quietly, creating a "reverse café effect" where children need to stop talking to hear them.
8. Provide ear protection when kids are participating in noisy activities, and talk about how important it is to protect your hearing to ensure you have good hearing health for life.
Support our work in preschools
Help us reach our goal of installing 200 Sound Monkey devices in 2023.
Today, over one billion young people are at risk of losing their hearing globally. If we do nothing, this number will continue to rise.
Can you imagine losing your hearing due to completely preventable causes? From your educational outcomes to your emotional well-being, the impacts of hearing loss would be far-reaching and life-long. Now consider that in children, nearly 60% of hearing loss is due to avoidable causes.
Your donation of $5 or more will go towards delivering Sound Monkey devices to preschools nationwide.