FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Christopher Gensch, Communications Director
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Matthew Lynch, Public Relations Coordinator
Email: [email protected]
WASHINGTON, March 2, 2017 – On Saturday, March 3, countries around the world will mark the 11th annual World Hearing Day. The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell) announced its support and is also joining in celebrating this year’s World Hearing Day.
AG Bell is launching its World Hearing Day digital campaign, with shareable graphics in English and Spanish for social media and email, a call for illustrations from participants celebrating better hearing and speech to display online and at its upcoming convention in Scottsdale, Arizona and a “Tip of the Day” campaign that calls for best practices and accessibility tips for those with hearing loss.
In 2017, the organization recently expanded its global reach by launching AG Bell International in Spain.
“This year’s World Hearing Day is special to AG Bell as we just launched AG Bell International in Madrid, Spain. This marks the beginning of our new mission to work globally to ensure that people who are deaf and hard of hearing can hear and talk,” said AG Bell Chief Executive Officer Emilio Alonso-Mendoza.
Each year since 2007, the World Health Organization (WHO), an agency of the United Nations (UN), marks March 3rd as World Hearing Day to promote hearing health. Its goal is to raise awareness about rising hearing loss around the world and ensure that those with hearing loss have access to rehabilitation services and communication tools. This year’s theme is “Hear the Future” and spotlights the rising number of people with hearing loss worldwide.
In 2017, Johns Hopkins researchers predicted the number of adults with hearing loss to double by the year 2060 from under 30 million today to over 70 million. Concurrent studies attribute excessive noise exposure, such as portable audio devices and machinery, to this trend. About 60 percent of these cases are avoidable with early hearing detection and intervention, a strategy AG Bell supports.
The earlier a child's speech and language problems are identified and treated, the less likely it is that problems will persist or worsen. In fact, infants and young children whose hearing loss is detected early and who receive appropriate and timely intervention have an excellent chance to develop important life skills alongside their hearing peers.
“Children rely on their parents and other family members to act as fluent language models of a family’s home language or languages. Love can be shared in any language, and families are uniquely equipped to teach their own native language or languages to their child through listening and spoken language from the very beginning of that child’s life,” said AG Bell Chief Strategy Officer Gayla Guignard, who is also a licensed audiologist, speech-language pathologist and certified Listening and Spoken Language Specialist through AG Bell’s Academy.