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Families with a child who has hearing loss and who also have limited ability to physically access services can now receive the full benefits of Hear and Say’s programs through telepractice.

Hear and Say’s Telepractice program provides children with hearing loss who live in regional and remote areas with Listening and Spoken Language Therapy via computer-based videoconferencing sessions. There has been an increased need on the Gold Coast and surrounding areas for a mixture of face-to-face and video-based sessions.

The Telepractice program is well established and supports families who are unable to access Hear and Say’s local centre. Recently there has been an increase in the need for a service that provides a combination of face-to-face and remote sessions.

“A generous grant from the ETC Community Support Fund has enabled us to purchase much needed laptops for our clinical team and resource kits to be sent out to families,” said Hear and Say CEO Chris McCarthy.

“These items will make a huge difference in supporting Hear and Say to provide services to families via the platforms most suited to their circumstances and ensure that children with hearing loss are getting the support required to help them reach their full potential across all areas of life.”

According to Mr McCarthy, recent research has shown the Telepractice approach achieves similar outcomes as the face-to-face programs.

“It’s really pleasing to know that families are receiving the same quality support regardless of how we facilitate our sessions,” Mr McCarthy said.

15-year-old local Bilee Mae Paul has been accessing the services of Hear and Say since she was just four years old.

“I have profound hearing loss and I’ve been going through a long journey of learning how to hear and communicate. Hear and Say have helped me with speech therapy over the years, maps and updates to my implant,” Bilee said.

“I’m getting my learners permit soon – I’m very excited to learn how to drive and get my own little car.”

To find out more about Hear and Say Centre visit www.hearandsay.com.au

ETC Director Isabel Borelli said it was a pleasure to be able to support Hear and Say.

“The ETC Community Support Fund is designed to help organisations reduce disadvantage, generate opportunity, increase support services and/or build capacity in the communities in which we operate,” Ms Borelli said.

“ETC is proud to be a not-for-profit company and we are confident the money we are donating will help make a more positive future for our community.

 The next round of ETC’s Community Support Fund opens on 18 March 2019

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