better hearing health in indigenous communities
The Hear the World Foundation supports The Hearing Foundation of Canada's new project which aims at improving the hearing health for Indigenous communities across British Columbia. In previous years Hear the World already supported a project to prevent the development of noise-induced hearing loss among children which built the ground for the current project's success.
Place & Year
Project PartnersThe Hearing Foundation of Canada
The Hearing Foundation of Canada (THFC) aims to prevent the development of noise-induced hearing loss among children. Through the delivery of interactive classroom-based presentations, their project educates children on the science of hearing and the importance of engaging in healthy listening habits. It also provides parents, caregivers, and teachers with important educational resources regarding the early identification of hearing loss. Thanks to previous support from the Hear the World Foundation, the program has been delivered in hundreds of schools across Canada.
Promoting hearing health with Indigenous communities
Starting in 2019, Hear the World is helping THFC to take another important step forward. The program is now being adapted in partnership with health and education experts from Indigenous communities across British Columbia. The goal of this adaptation is to promote the accessibility, trust and efficacy of the program, resulting in improved hearing health for Indigenous communities across British Columbia.
The only national education program of its kind
THFC is well equipped to address the potential damage of NIHL. Since 2008, THFC has worked to reduce the prevalence of NIHL among children. Over a decade later, the project continues to be the only national education program of its kind working to prevent the development of NIHL among children in Canada.
Inclusion of Indigenous Experts as key for success
Prevention of NIHL in Indigenous communities across British Columbia is crucial, particularly in rural and remote communities where hearing loss management options can be difficult to access due to distance, language, culture and/or economic constraints.
Research has shown that self-determination and reclamation of traditional approaches to health have helped to improve and promote health within First Nations. For this reason, THFC has assembled a Steering Committee comprised of various health and education experts from Indigenous communities across British Columbia to adapt the program.
Fostering trust and building relationships
Many Indigenous people do not trust, and therefore do not use, particular services because they have had experiences in which they have been treated with contempt, judged, ignored, stereotyped, racialized and minimized.
Studies show that health promotion activities fail when they neglect to understand the importance of the socio-historic context of health problems. It is for this reason that THFC staff is participating in cultural competence training and working with Indigenous community members to develop the adapted version of the program.
Training Local Facilitators to promote long-term impact
Once the program has been adapted, THFC and the Steering Committee will work to scale the program to additional Indigenous communities across British Columbia. Local Community Health Representatives will be trained to deliver the adapted version of Sound Sense on a volunteer basis. Having Local Facilitators operate on a volunteer basis will promote the sustainability of the program enabling more children, parents, caregivers and teachers to benefit over the long-term.