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CharitiesAidWelfare, Medical Health Aged Care

Tim shows Canberra politicians deafness is no barrier to being bilingual and achieving his dreams

NextSense 2 mins read

Ten-year-old Tim, from Melbourne, stepped up to the podium at Parliament House in Canberra today alongside five other children with hearing loss from across Australia and New Zealand. They were there for the annual Power of Speech event, which aims to challenge perceptions among decision makers of what’s possible for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Tim has two cochlear implants and received early intervention services for his hearing loss from not-for-profit organsation NextSense. He also attended NextSense kindergarten at Blackburn in Melbourne, which provides tailored support for children who are deaf or hard of hearing and helps prepare them for mainstream education.

‘There is a lot of evidence to show that the earlier you intervene with speech and language development for a child with hearing loss, the better their outcomes will be, and putting family at the centre of care is very important’, NextSense Chief Executive Chris Rehn said.

Tim is thriving at his local mainstream primary school. Not only is he excelling in spoken and written English, but he also speaks German fluently and loves singing in his heavy metal band, ‘Acorn Rush’.

In front of an audience that included Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler, Tim described his family’s journey with hearing loss and the power of his hearing support team at NextSense.

‘[NextSense] helped in lots of different ways. They visited me at home and checked whether I was making progress with my speaking and listening—and they helped my Mum and Dad to make the best decisions’, he said.

He has very positive memories of his time at NextSense Kindergarten and spoke about the importance of representation.

‘I made my first best friend there. He also wore cochlear implants and I spent most of my days with lots of kids who did, which made me feel good as I wasn´t the only one’, Tim said.

‘The high-quality, wraparound support received by children like Tim has already helped them travel this far— but it will continue to reap rewards for them long into the future’, NextSense Chief Executive Chris Rehn said.

The Power of Speech event is in its ninth year and brings together the member organisations of First Voice—a partnership that advocates for world-class early intervention services that gives children who are deaf or hard of hearing the opportunity to listen and speak.


About us:

About NextSense 

NextSense has been at the forefront of helping Australians with vision and hearing loss for more than 160 years. A not-for profit organisation, it is now Australia’s largest non-government provider of health, disability, education and cochlear implant services for children and adults with vision or hearing loss, their families and the professionals who support them. 


Contact details:

Helen Simpson
Communications Specialist
NextSense
M: 0406 686 047

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