To celebrate International Cochlear Implant Day on 25th February 2020, the European CI users’ associations wanted to make their voices heard loud and clear: I want to hear. Can you hear me? Their message is communicated through two videos showing people who are fully integrated into school and work life, thanks to their cochlear implants.
The first video “The School” features a 10-year-old girl who, thanks to early diagnosis, simultaneous bilateral cochlear implantation at the age of 9 months, and subsequent rehabilitation, hears and speaks normally. She is doing very well at school and does not need support teachers.
The second video: “The businessman” features a 40-year-old man who suffered from progressive hearing loss. He underwent sequential bilateral cochlear implant surgery and was able to continue working as a successful businessman.
To provide adults and children with the best possible hearing functionality, we call for comprehensive neonatal and adult hearing screening, prompt provision of hearing aids or cochlear implants where needed, and specialized rehabilitation that includes speech therapy. Time is of the essence.
Forward-thinking countries must invest in the prevention and treatment of hearing loss, by providing prompt access to the best technology and state-of-the-art hearing rehabilitation. Investing saves money. Properly rehabilitated hearing-impaired people are typically able to work and pay taxes, rather than being a financial burden to society. Every 1€ invested in treating hearing loss saves 10€ of costs to society further down the line.
Investing in hearing technology improves lives and saves society money. The cost of NOT providing hearing technologies has been shown to be greater than the cost of providing them.