Building resilient regional and remote Queensland communities.
The RETAIN program delivers for regional kids
In Australia, almost 5 in every 1,000 children are diagnosed with hearing loss at the start of primary school. In addition to physical equipment like hearing aids or cochlear implants, many of these children require specialist listening and spoken language therapy to achieve educational and social outcomes in line with their peers.
Accessing such therapy is particularly challenging in regional and remote communities where the nearest trained therapist may be several hundred kilometres away.
In 2020, QCoal Foundation formed a new and exciting social venture partnership with leading Queensland not-for profit Hear and Say, to create the RETAIN (REgional TArgeted INtervention) program.
The vision for the RETAIN program is to use telepractice technology to allow school-age children with hearing loss in regional and remote Queensland to access the therapy they need.
Together, our aim is to ensure no child is left behind in their hearing and speech – regardless of where they live.
In terms of our social venture model, we have now entered the third phase, Support for Trial. During this phase, philanthropic funding from QCoal Foundation is used to deliver the solution developed in phase two for a trial period. We know that school-aged children with hearing loss in regional and remote communities face substantial challenges in accessing therapy to help them thrive.
Already the anecdotal evidence demonstrates the hugely positive impact RETAIN is having for the families who are engaging with the program. As the trial phase continues, we look forward to capturing the clinical evidence to demonstrate the positive outcomes and value of the RETAIN program approach.