‘Make listening safe’ message delivered to Auckland Silent Breakfast attendees

8 March, 2020

Hearing New Zealand held the inaugural Silent Breakfast event as part of Hearing Awareness Week on Sunday 8 March. The event was held at Hearing Auckland in Remuera with guest speaker Dr David Welch from the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences at the University of Auckland.


Dr Welch spoke to the attendees about noise-induced hearing loss and how it is completely preventable. He also explained more about the Dangerous Decibels programme which many Hearing New Zealand branches will be running in schools across the country. The aim is to teach children how to protect their hearing in a fun and engaging way. Research from the USA where the Dangerous Decibels programme was developed suggests this method of educating young people is effective.


Guests were also invited to wear earmuffs for a portion of the event to get an understanding of what it feels like to have a hearing impairment. After this activity, attendees were invited to share their thoughts about what it felt like and what they observed through their experience. Feelings of confusion, isolation and anxiety were all mentioned. National President of Hearing New Zealand Tony Rush then explained how these same feelings may have some correlation to the number of hearing-impaired people who also suffer from dementia.


The money raised from the event will go towards a number of Hearing New Zealand projects including running the Dangerous Decibels programme in schools across the country, giving out free ear plugs at music festivals and engaging with youth and towards funding a research project with the University of Auckland.


Rush says “we’d like to thank all those who attended our Silent Breakfast event. Next year we encourage more people to hold their own Silent Breakfast. It’s easy to do and is an opportunity to get together as a community discuss how we can keep our hearing safe in an increasingly noisy world.”


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