A shorter journey to good hearing

Brazil is famous for samba, soccer and beaches to die for. But as the world’s fifth largest country, the distance between individual places can be enormous. People often have to undertake a long, arduous and costly journey to receive audiological care. Together with the Sorocaba Association for Hearing Impaired Children (APADAS), the Hear the World Foundation is helping to reduce these distances by establishing a national network of audiologists.

Place & Year

Brazil, 2016 - 2017



Main Focus

Children Providing audiological care for children in low-income countries is a focal area of the Hear the World Foundation’s activities.
Professional training The Hear the World Foundation supports projects that enable continuous audiological training for professionals on site.
Prevention of hearing loss The Hear the World Foundation globally promotes awareness for the topics of hearing and hearing loss and thus actively contributes toward the prevention of hearing loss.
Programs for parents & families By supporting self-help groups for parents, the Hear the World Foundation makes an important contribution, thus ensuring that affected parents receive specific help and assistance.

In terms of surface area, Brazil covers almost half of South America: from north to south and from east to west the country stretches over a distance of up to 4,300 kilometers. Thanks to the state healthcare system, over 200 million Brazilians are entitled to medical care. This means, low-income families are also supplied with hearing aids free of charge. Nonetheless, the provision of care often founders due to the long distances involved and a shortage of personnel.

Research, training, audiological care

For the 2.5 million people who live in the region around the industrial city of Sorocaba, east of São Paulo, APADAS plays a key role when it comes to children with hearing loss. Since it was founded in 1988, the charitable organization has been committed on three fronts; undertaking research, training experts, and providing audiological care. This approach involves identifying and treating hearing loss as early as possible. This is the foundation needed for these children to develop normal speech and language allowing them to live their lives free of limitations. In line with this approach, APADAS also undertake support measures for the children by educating their families and schools on the correct way to deal with hearing loss.

A local network of experts for shorter distances

Currently, all infants and children from the region with suspected hearing loss have been referred to Sorocaba, where they are given access by APADAS to expert audiological care. However, many families from almost 50 surrounding towns and cities are confronted with long journey times of up to six hours. This travel time will be significantly reduced in the future, thanks to funding from the Hear the World Foundation. This funding will allow local experts to receive further training to create new, local points of contact for a wide range of services from initial screening to speech therapy.