Front-up for the hard of hearing

Louise Carroll fronting up for the hard of hearingThe National Foundation for the Deaf’s chief executive, Louise Carroll, is challenging all CEOs to support their family members, friends, colleagues and staff who are hard of hearing by participating in the National Foundation for the Deaf’s annual Silent Leadership Challenge event.

“We’re asking corporate and community leaders to experience what it’s like to have a hearing loss, for just an hour on Friday 7 August, 2015.

Carroll, whose hearing loss is a result of an injury, has been significantly helped by wearing hearing aids. “I vividly recall the day I switched on the hearing aids with remote microphone, I could hear my granddaughter’s voice and was surprised and saddened that I hadn’t been hearing her actual full voice with its delightful timbres for all these years.

When you think about it, hearing loss is an invisible disability that often goes unrecognised and is hardly ever talked about. By undertaking the challenge, corporate and community leaders will help break the silence around it. From this, insights will be gained into preventing hearing loss and making the workplace more supportive for employees who are hard of hearing. They will lead the social change that people with hearing loss in New Zealand so desperately need”

The event, The Silent Leadership Challenge, will see participants tackle three communication challenges at work and one at home while wearing bright yellow hearing protectors to simulate deafness. The ten minute challenges, to be undertaken on Friday 7 August, are a one-to-one meeting, a team meeting, a social get-together and watching TV with the family (without captions). Each activity will take less than ten minutes but the impact and social change it creates could be life-long.

The purpose of the Challenge is to raise nationwide awareness on the need to protect our hearing and to raise funds for the Foundation’s work to prevent hearing loss and support people with hearing loss or deafness.

To take part, leaders register online at www.silentleadershipchallenge.com and aim to raise funds by seeking sponsorship donations from people in their professional and social networks.

Participants will be sent everything they need to tackle the Challenge, including a set of hearing protectors donated by MSA, the Safety Company. Staff can nominate their CEO as a potential participant by emailing the Foundation at silentleadershipchallenge@nfd.org.nz, or call
0800 867 446.

The fundraising target for this year’s Silent Leadership Challenge is $100,000 in 100 days. The Foundation wants to recruit 100 leaders to help us meet this target.

The money raised will directly support the Foundation’s advocacy, support and prevention work.

Supplied by NFD.

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