World Hearing Day: 3 March 2021
World Hearing Day is held on 3 March each year to raise awareness of how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and to promote ear and hearing care across the world.
Each year, the World Health Organization decides the theme. The theme for World Hearing Day in 2021 is “Hearing care for all!”.
The International Communication Project (ICP) proudly supports and promotes World Hearing Day and its theme.
World Report on Hearing
In 2021, World Hearing Day will be marked by the launch of the first-ever World Report on Hearing. Through the global launch of the report, the World Health Organization intends to reach, raise awareness with, and mobilize action among national governments, international NGOs and development agencies, as well as all stakeholders in the field of hearing care. World Hearing Day 2021 and the World Report on Hearing present a global call for action to address hearing loss and ear diseases across.
The World Report on Hearing aims to provide evidence-based guidance to drive actions for integration of quality Environmental Health Criteria services into national health plans of Member States, as part of their work towards universal health coverage.
Communicating with a hearing-impaired person
Communicating with someone who has a hearing loss need not be difficult. Here are some simple tips for communicating more effectively with someone who has a hearing loss:
- First, gain their attention. Face the person directly and, whenever possible, remain at the same eye level. Missing the beginning of the message can make understanding very difficult.
- Speak clearly; there is no need to shout.
- Make sure you keep your hands away from your face. Give the listener every chance to see your whole face.
- Reduce background noise (e.g., by turning off the radio or television). Relatively quiet listening conditions are recommended because this provides the best-possible voice reception and allows the listener to use any visual cues they may need to assist speech understanding.
- Make sure light is not shining in the listener’s eyes.
- If you’re not making yourself understood, find a different way of saying the same thing.
- Be aware that the listener may have difficulty understanding speech, even with a hearing aid. Some hearing-impaired people have more difficulty following a conversation than others.
Communication is a two-way process. Both the listener and the speaker should take responsibility for clear communication.
What does the theme for World Hearing Day mean?
On World Hearing Day 2021, the World Health Organization seeks to draw attention to the importance of early identification and intervention for hearing loss. Many people live with unidentified hearing loss, often failing to realise that they are missing out on certain sounds and words. Checking one’s hearing is the first step towards addressing the issue.
The key messages related to the theme in 2021:
- Good hearing and communication are important at all stages of life.
- Hearing loss (and related ear diseases) can be avoided through preventative actions such as: protection against loud sounds, good ear care practices, and immunization.
- Hearing loss (and related ear diseases) can be addressed when it is identified in a timely manner and appropriate care sought.
- People at risk of hearing loss should check their hearing regularly.
- People having hearing loss (or related ear diseases) should seek care from a health care provider.
Ten facts about hearing loss you should know
- Fact 1: There are around 360 million people with disabling hearing loss.
- Fact 2: Unaddressed hearing loss poses a global cost of $750 billion international dollars.
- Fact 3: Thirty-two million children have disabling hearing loss.
- Fact 4: Chronic ear infections are the leading cause of hearing loss.
- Fact 5: Nearly one in every three people over 65 years are affected by disabling hearing loss.
- Fact 6: Noise is a major avoidable cause of hearing loss.
- Fact 7: Hearing loss can be caused by occupational noise and the use ototoxic medications.
- Fact 8: People with hearing loss can benefit from devices such as hearing aids and cochlear implants.
- Fact 9: Sign language and captioning services facilitate communication with people who are deaf and hard of hearing.
- Fact 10: Sixty per cent of childhood hearing loss is preventable through public health actions.
Learn more: Facts and figures about hearing loss.
What can you do on World Hearing Day?
Communication is a basic human right. Unfortunately, in many parts of the world, communication difficulties and disorders are not recognised as a disability. That’s why the ICP urges you to sign the Universal Declaration of Communication Rights. By signing the pledge, you help bring attention to persons with communication disorders (like hearing loss) and the professional care that can help them. And to assist you, we will keep you up-to-date with information about what’s being done by the ICP and others to ensure that communication is a basic human right. It is why the ICP supports World Hearing Day and its theme: Hearing care for all!