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QCoal Foundation partners with Hear and Say in North Queensland

 

Hear and Say and QCoal Foundation working together to deliver speech and language to children with hearing loss in North Queensland

Hear and Say, the leading Queensland charity supporting children with hearing loss by teaching them to listen and speak, is proud to announce a new collaboration with QCoal Foundation,

The two organisations have joined forces so that Hear and Say can continue to deliver its specialised Listening and Spoken Language Therapy services via Telepractice to North Queensland families.

Hear and Say offers its Telepractice services to families in rural and remote Queensland, and this program will be delivered from the Townsville Centre to locations from Mackay north, including in and around Innisfail, Mount Isa and parts of the Whitsundays.

QCoal Foundation Chair Christopher Wallin said this program would make a real difference to those families living in areas where specialised services were not readily available.

“Children with hearing loss in remote and rural areas experience barriers to accessing the support they need to develop their listening and spoken language to the same level as their hearing peers, and must often travel to larger cities to access these services. This may impact on education and family life and increase financial strain,” Mr Wallin said.

“The Telepractice Program alleviates service delivery gaps for these families by providing Listening and Spoken Language Therapy via PC-based video-conferencing sessions to children in their own homes.”

Hear and Say secured the funding for the Telepractice Program through the QCoal Foundation Community Grants program, which provides assistance to organisations across rural and remote Queensland with a focus in the areas of health, liveability and education.

“The QCoal Foundation Community Grants program aims to foster productive partnerships between QCoal Foundation and local communities and organisations that facilitate long-term, sustainable solutions to community identified needs,” said Mr Wallin.

“We look forward to working in partnership with Hear and Say to make life a little easier for rural and remote families currently dealing with access issues for speech and language support.”

Ten-month-old Jock is one of the children supported via Hear and Say’s Telepractice services from the Townsville Centre. Jock lives with his parents, Jade and Nikko, on a station located almost eight hours outside of Townsville and wears hearing aids in both ears. Jock was four months old when he commenced Listening and Spoken Language Therapy lessons with Hear and Say, and his parents said they hadn’t looked back since.

“Knowing that Jock – and us as parents – can receive support and guidance from Hear and Say from our remote station has given us so much relief,” said Jock’s mum, Jade.

“The Telepractice lessons continually educate us, and ensure that Jock will not be left behind with his speech and language development. And not only have they been so beneficial for his speech and language, but also supporting Nikko and I with how best to communicate with Jock.”

Hear and Say Chief Executive Officer, Chris McCarthy said the partnership with QCoal Foundation was particularly exciting as it ensured equitable access to services for families from rural and remote Queensland like Jock’s, which would go on to optimise outcomes for children’s listening and speaking outcomes.

“This support means that these children will be given the best possible start when it comes to reaching their goals, and can go on to live life unlimited by their hearing loss – regardless of where in Queensland they live,” Mr McCarthy said.