Building resilient regional and remote Queensland communities.

Our Stories

RETAIN Helps CQ Twins Achieve their Academic Goals

Since 2021 QCoal Foundation has proudly partnered with Hear and Say to deliver RETAIN – an innovative telepractice program that supports school-aged children with hearing loss in regional Queensland to develop and maintain optimal listening, speech and language outcomes, social skills and access to the school curriculum.

The program has progressed into the trial phase of our social venture model, meaning school children with hearing loss from communities right across Queensland have started to access world-class therapy using the RETAIN telepractice approach.

The RETAIN program is already generating positive outcomes for participants like six-year-old twins, Thomas (Tom) and Hugh who live in the Central Queensland town of Dysart. They are active, inquisitive, and happy boys who were each born with severe hearing loss in both ears.

At seven weeks, both boys were fitted with their first hearing aids. Through a progressive deterioration of their hearing levels, they each proceeded to surgery and received bilateral cochlear implants, which were switched on at 15 months.

Both Tom and Hugh are now part of the RETAIN program. RETAIN aims to assist them through their formative school years to ensure they can keep up with their peers. The program also provides support to the school and teachers, who may never have had a child in their classroom with hearing loss. Both Tom and Hugh have shown great progress!

Tom is focused on improving his reading skills and comprehension. He can accurately sound out words and has increased his reading to the point where he can describe important parts of the story and answer questions.

Hugh recently won an award at his school assembly for his work on a story retell in class. He was very proud because he had been working on this in his RETAIN lessons.

Both are dedicated little boys, who never miss their RETAIN sessions, despite their preference to be outdoors playing!

Our social venture partnership is progressing well and we are already identifying key learnings from this trial phase that will inform the delivery of services into the future. You can learn more about the RETAIN program here.