Building resilient regional and remote Queensland communities.
The RETAIN Program
Prompted by research which shows up to four school-age children in every 1,000 have hearing loss and that people living outside major metropolitan areas are more likely to experience hearing-related issues than those residing in major metropolitan areas, QCoal Foundation and Hear and Say have joined forces in an exciting new partnership to support regional and remote students to thrive.
Hearing loss can also have significant consequences for children’s development, impacting learning as well as social and emotional wellbeing. For this reason, ongoing monitoring and specialised support throughout children’s school years is critical to ensure they maintain the outcomes achieved through early intervention. This is especially true for those living in regional, rural and remote Queensland communities, where specialist support in schools and other education settings can be much scarcer than in major cities.
In 2018, QCoal Foundation partnered with Hear and Say – a renowned not-for-profit which supports children and people of all ages impacted by hearing loss – to jointly tackle the challenge of supporting school-aged children in regional Queensland with hearing loss through highly specialised speech and language support via telepractice.
Following on from this program, the Foundation has monitored Hear and Say’s progress in regional and rural areas and particularly, the organisation’s transition to increased telepractice services in response to the Covid-19 restrictions.
The RETAIN Program, launched in April 2021, will see the development of a telepractice program to support school-aged children in regional Queensland to develop and maintain optimal listening, speech and language outcomes, social skills and access to the school curriculum.
The social venture partnership is entering the solution development phase and QCoal Foundation is proud to be a Founding Partner of this initiative which will support students right across regional and remote Queensland.
Learn more about the background to the partnership between Hear and Say and QCoal Foundation by watching the video below.