Hearing Health Center

What is Hearing Health Center?

Hearing is extremely important for human communication by verbal language. Hearing impaired persons have difficulties in communication that cannot be fully resolved today, even with the help of hearing aids and visual devices. People of younger generations, particularly children, encounter diverse difficulties because of lack of proper understanding and consideration at schools and workplaces. However, hearing aid use is supposed to be effective for age-related hearing loss: the primary and preventable risk factor of dementia. However, the percentage of hearing aid users is very low among aged patients with subjective symptoms of hearing impairment in Japan.
The Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Okayama University, registered the “Project for the realization of barrier-free information access and inclusive society for children and adults with hearing disabilities through inter-professional work” at Okayama University SDGs in 2021 with the aim of resolving these social difficulties, and started efforts to achieve an inclusive society for hearing impaired persons. The project has started for establishment of a support system not only for infants but also for schoolchildren, greater social participation supported both before and after finding employment, and large-scale promotion of introduction to hearing aids for adults and elderly people. We expand clinical care, which has remained insufficient to date, in cooperation with education for hearing impaired children and adults during and after school age, and simultaneously conduct educational activities for elderly people, and in particular for outreach to people in the northern area of the prefecture, as well as for supporters including public health nurses and welfare commissioners. Studies are also being made of the implementation of devices including development for issues such as information delay during natural disasters and emergencies. The “Health Hearing Center” supports hearing impaired persons in cooperation with the Department of Otorhinolaryngology and other departments including those of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the SDG Center, Faculty of Education, Office of Support for Students with Disabilities, Disabled Employment Promotion Office, Organization for Diversity Management, and other extra-academic organizations for treatment or education, such as welfare organizations and companies.

◆ Hearing Health Center Objectives

1. Establish means for communication by hearing impaired or speech impaired persons and support their social independence
2. Educate hearing impaired persons for social contribution
3. Construct a platform by which hearing impaired persons can participate in social activities