World Hearing Day is an initiative from the World Health Organization (WHO) aiming to raise awareness and promote ear and hearing care across the world. The theme for 2020 was Hearing for life: don't let hearing loss limit you. The Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology has worked closely with the World Health Organization for many years and are in the final stages of becoming a formal WHO collaborating centre.
On World Hearing Day 2020, the Department of Speech-Language Pathology in collaboration with the Department of Library Services launched a self-test hearing kiosk in the Merensky 2 library. This event has been registered with the World Health Organization and aims to encourage safe listening, raise awareness and increase access to hearing care on a continual basis for all UP students and staff. Guests were welcomed by Prof Vasu Reddy (Dean of Humanities) and Ms Lindiwe Soyizwapi (Director: Dept of library services). Thereafter, Prof De Wet Swanepoel (Dept of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology) gave an inspiring talk on the 2020 theme Hearing for life. Prof Jeannie van der Linde (HoD: Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology) closed off the event, as the guests prepared for the unveiling of the self-test kiosk.
The self-test kiosk entails a digits-in-noise test on a tablet using clinically validated technology from hearZA, developed and at UP powered by the hearX group. The digits-in-noise application is user-friendly and it assesses the individual's ability to perceive speech within the presence of noise reflecting someone’s functional hearing ability.
More than 1 billion students and young adults are at risk of hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices according to the World Health Organization. Those individuals who fail the self-test screening will also have an option to connect with the Audiology Clinic at UP for further diagnostic assessments and/or intervention.
Raising awareness about our event at UP for World Hearing Day 2020
Prof De Wet Swanepoel speaking about the theme for World Hearing Day 2020: Hearing for life
Left to right: Ms Anna Siwela (Faculty Library Manager: Humanities & Theology) and Dr Christine Louw (Clinical lecturer: Dept of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology) unveiling the self-test hearing kiosk.
UP students waiting in anticipation to try out the newly launched self-test hearing kiosk