From the very start Quota Clubs have generously supported Hear and Say, driven by the passion for helping those affected by hearing loss. After a recent meeting with the Quota Club of the Gold Coast, we reflected on the great outcomes we have achieved together, creating opportunities for babies and kids with hearing loss.
“Quota Gold Coast Inc has been working with those who are deaf or hard of hearing since its charter in 1954,” said Christene Pye, Honorary Secretary of Quota Gold Coast.
Following the invention of the cochlear implant, Quota began lobbying the Queensland Government to introduce hearing screening at birth for all babies.
“Every club sent letters to politicians very frequently asking for the program to become adopted in Queensland – needless to say, this did not happen overnight,” said Christene.
At this time Hear and Say’s Founder, Dr Dimity Dornan AO, was also working closely with Quota to help ensure hearing loss was detected as early as possible.
“We knew how critical those early years were for babies brain development, it was a milestone achievement when the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening program was rolled out across the state in 2004. It allowed us to identify hearing loss quickly and give babies born deaf the opportunity to hear and speak along with their siblings and peers. We are forever grateful to Quota for their hard work in ensuring this result,” said Dimity.
Jumping forward 30 years and Quota Gold Coast are still right by our side, participating in Loud Shirt Day, donating much-needed resources for therapy lessons, and holding fundraisers.
“At one of these functions we were thrilled to have Cruz, a young man with a cochlear implant, as the guest speaker. It was such a thrill to see a young boy speak so well in front of a crowd,” said Christene.
It’s not a job-well-done just yet though, with Quota’s support for hearing screening continuing, now for older children.
“We were truly shocked find out such a large percentage of children who passed the infant screening are then found to have hearing issues by the time they reach school,” said Christene.
In fact, the instances of hearing loss doubles by the time children reach school age1 and it’s this reason our Hear to Learn – School Hearing Screening program exists - to ensure no child falls through the cracks.
Recently Quota Gold Coast made a generous $2,000 donation that can fund the hearing screening of about 80 students. It takes a village to ensure children are not limited by their hearing loss and we are certainly grateful to have Quota Gold Coast in our community.
1The Social and Economic Cost of Hearing Loss in Australia. (2017). Retrieved from HCIA website: https://www.hcia.com.au/hcia-wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Social-and-Economic-Cost-of-Hearing-Health-in-Australia_June-2017.pdf