There are over 8,000¹ teenagers in Australia who are deaf or hard of hearing who face higher risk² of mental health problems compared to their hearing peers. Audiologists and itinerant teachers are on the front line for these teens and have the opportunity to guide them to services that will help them break down barriers and enable them reach their full potential.
Hear For You does just that. Our mission is to mentor and inspire young people who are deaf through evidence based programs and services that are accessible to all. As an audiologist, itinerant teacher or even a parent or carer of teenagers who are hearing impaired, it can often be difficult to approach such a conversation. Teenagers think they don’t need extra help, they’re getting by just fine. And they may be coping well, but there is a lot to be gained by having a support network that understand exactly what challenges you face on a daily basis.
92% of children with permanent hearing loss are born to hearing parents³. It’s important that we provide parents with a thorough understanding as to how an organisation, like Hear For You, can provide their child with unique opportunities and skills that they can carry with them throughout their entire life.
Hear For You does just that. Our mission is to mentor and inspire young people who are deaf through evidence based programs and services that are accessible to all.
So how do you bring the conversation up? Below we outline some tips for audiologists and itinerant teachers to help you start the conversation.
Audiologists and Itinerant Teachers Supporting Teens with Hearing Loss
Here’s how Hear For You can help. We offer are a range of workshops, programs and opportunities that empower deaf or hard of hearing teenagers. Some of these include:
- Life Goals and Skills Blast programs – provide teenagers with insight into life skills and assist them in developing and understanding their own strengths and weaknesses.
- Rock My World programs – to help teenagers engage in activities, or even learn and develop new skills like STEM skills at an early stage of their life to benefit their careers and life choices in the future.
- Mentors – with lived experience. We have a team of deaf and hard of hearing mentors who have also completed mentoring programs and can provide insight and experiences into being deaf and hard of hearing while attending mainstream school.
- Community sessions – general chat, game nights and catch ups that promote a sense of community and belonging for the teenagers.
How to start a conversation about services available to deaf and hard of hearing teenagers
Starting a conversation surrounding the support mechanisms and options for those deaf and hard of hearing teenagers can be daunting and sometimes we don’t know where to begin. There are a few tips we can offer which may be useful.
- Speak directly to the teenager. Share there are other young adults available to talk to who have been in their shoes and understand the daily challenge of sometimes being the only deaf or hard of hearing child in the school. Download this flyer to help start the conversation: HFY Itinerant Teachers Flyer 2020
- Speak to the parent/s or carer/s. Make the process more comfortable by reaching out to a Hear For You Mentor so they can see how they succeeded in school and continued to succeed in their young adult life.
- Download this flyer to help start the conversation: HFY Itinerant Teachers Flyer 2020
- Reach out to Hear For You for a one-on-one Zoom call session to explain what we do and how we can help. Email us here to set up a call.
Teenagers can use their NDIS funding to attend programs and workshops. If they are not on NDIS for support other arrangements can be made. Please contact us here.
Communication is flexible. Our participants, staff and mentors use a variety of different modes of communication. We provide captioning and translators as needed and a number of our mentors can sign in Auslan.
What can you expect from Hear For You?
Often teenagers are unaware of what to expect or who they are going to be surrounded by when they attend our workshops and programs. It’s important to us that they feel comfortable and are aware of what they’re signing up for.
Below are links to previous workshops that give insight into what our workshops and programs look like and the people that are involved!
Hear For You Film Festival
Programs and Events
FAQs about our Online Programs
¹ Australian Hearing, 2018
² Mitchell & Karchmer, 2004
³ Mitchell & Karchmer, 2004.