Living with Hearing Loss is proud to join the World Hearing Forum (WHF), a global network of stakeholders promoting ear and hearing care worldwide. WHF is hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO).
No one with hearing loss should be without information and assistance. WHF’s goals include (1) raising awareness about the need for healthy hearing, (2) educating people how to prevent hearing damage, and (3) advocating for universal access to affordable hearing treatments.
We are excited to partner with other leading hearing loss organizations around the world (see full list here) to support this important work.
What is the World Hearing Forum?
Established in 2018, WHF’s goal is to galvanize action towards a world in which (1) no person experiences hearing loss due to preventable causes and (2) those with hearing loss can achieve their full potential through rehabilitation, education and empowerment.
The work focuses on four key areas:
1. Preventing Hearing Loss through Make Listening Safe
Over one billion people are at risk of hearing damage due to unsafe recreational listening practices. To combat these risks, WHO created the Make Listening Safe initiative in 2015 with three goals.
- Create easily understood and easy-to-implement evidence-based standards for safe listening.
- Increase awareness about healthy listening with free-to-share communication materials.
- Invest in research to better understand safe listening best practices around the globe.
2. Raising Awareness on World Hearing Day
World Hearing Day is held on March 3rd annually to help raise awareness about the importance of healthy hearing. In 2022 the theme is “To hear for life, listen with care.” It includes four key messages.
- It is possible to have good hearing across the life course with proper hearing care.
- Many common causes of hearing loss are preventable, including exposure to loud sounds.
- Safe listening reduces the risk of hearing loss from recreational sound exposure.
- Society must implement evidence-based standards to promote safe listening.
Many activities are planned globally each year to celebrate World Hearing Day. You can find 2022’s list here.
3. Implement the World Report on Hearing
The World Report on Hearing was developed in response to the World Health Assembly resolution (WHA70.13), adopted in 2017 to help member states integrate ear and hearing care into their national health plans. The report examined the prevalence of hearing loss globally and laid out cost-effective solutions to effectively prevent and treat hearing loss. Developed in collaboration with global experts and stakeholders in the field of hearing care, it reflects a range of cultural contexts and approaches to hearing care, with a special focus on low- and middle-income countries.
4. Foster Role Models through the Champions Program
The Champions program promotes role models and champions in the field of hearing care. The group shares stories of changemakers of all ages that demonstrate how tenacity and advocacy can help people with hearing loss overcome barriers. WHF is looking for stories that encompass a wide range of communication modalities and geographical locations to share on the group’s Changemakers Facebook group and through other WHF print and social media. Submit your story at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How You Can You Help
Hearing loss is not easy to understand if you have not experienced it yourself. All of us can help support WFA’s important work by sharing their marketing materials, tips for safe listening and brochures with your friends, family and colleagues. Living with Hearing Loss looks forward to sharing WFA’s important work with all of you.
Readers, how will you help support the World Hearing Forum’s work?