As well as assisting people who experience hearing conditions, Soundfair works to assist those around them — the important groups in their lives like families, workplaces and their communities. They aim to eliminate the social and emotional impacts of hearing conditions, and create a world of hearing equality for everyone – particularly those most vulnerable – through connection and participation.
So, how can we work to achieve this? Soundfair believes that we need to do more than speak up. We need to make some noise.
Soundfair is a non-profit organization committed to hearing equality and to transforming the experience and wellbeing of all people with hearing conditions. Their inspiring work amplifies diverse voices, focusing on the whole person and catalysing change across the system and society. To Soundfair, hearing conditions are about more than just ears and they require more than just devices.
Their projects include research and development, using human-centred design to reimagine hearing care, offering independent advice and hearing care services and providing reconditioned hearing aids to people who would otherwise be unable to afford them. Incredible people like Laura or Glyn — collectively we can give back the gift of hearing.
Dr Barr is an international leader, researcher and advocate for putting people with hearing conditions at the centre of systemic and societal change. As CEO of Soundfair and as an honorary senior clinical researcher at the University of Melbourne, Caitlin brings together consumer voice of people living with hearing conditions with clinical and research perspectives for a common cause of catalysing change.
Ultimately, Caitlin is driven to see a society where having a hearing condition poses no barrier to living connected and healthy.
Stories at Soundfair is a platform for personal stories that connects people and amplifies the voices of people who experience the social and emotional impacts of hearing conditions. Social connection is not always within people’s reach, particularly for people with hearing conditions. Social media can be a good way to reach out and connect.
If you are living with a hearing condition, you can share your experiences and personal insights to help inform Soundfair's approach, and more importantly, guide others who are sharing this journey.
It's an amazing platform to explore and spend a bit of time reading these incredible stories that amazing people have shared. During November, I spent time looking through eyeopening and fascinating stories. I realised that I was unaware of a lot of complications, fears and experiences that people living with hearing conditions dealt with everyday. Stories at Soundfair helped me to gain a better understanding of life with a hearing condition and will help me in future conversations.
Recently, generous givers on Little Phil funded Soundfair's Hearing Aid for Abrham! He is now able to receive a donated hearing aid, customised to him and, with the support of Little Philanthropists, has been given back the gift of hearing, vital for this bright researcher
Here's what the device donor shared with Soundfair, "My sister and I would like to donate our father's hearing aids to Soundfair. When we spoke, you mentioned that dad's hearing aids will be donated to refugees and asylum seekers. Our father was a refugee himself - at the end of WWII, he found himself in a camp for displaced persons in Poland. Australia at that time was buying labour in exchange for a ticket to Australia and a new life. So my father signed up, did two years' labour in Western Australia, and was granted citizenship. It is therefore a nice case of life coming full circle that dad can give his hearing aids to a refugee now."
It has been so amazing to see Abrham's journey so far and it's even more exciting to see his story continue with his new hearing aid.
Meet Laura — a champion! She’s a fleet-footed 38-year-old who works in events and runs her very own roller-skating school!
Unfortunately, she is also hard of hearing. During last year’s lockdown, she received her first pair of hearing aids — kindly donated by her ex-partner’s late father. With this gift, she realised how "they could change her life”. Soon after she started wearing them, though, they stopped working as they were getting too old.
“I struggle in many situations, especially when I explain to people I'm hard of hearing, but they continue to talk to me from another room or facing the other way. It's exhausting explaining over and over again that I lip read and need to be facing them.” — says Laura.
It costs $650 to recondition and fit a donated hearing aid customised to Laura, and collectively, we can give back the gift of hearing, vital for this trailblazing business owner and event planner. Head over to show your support for Laura — you can change a life today.
By donating to Soundfair and their campaigns through Little Phil, you are showing a direct impact to their vital and inspirational cause. When you give through Little Phil, you can see precisely where your giving is going. Your support allows Soundfair to continue to support, assist and empower people living with hearing conditions. Together we can make a much-needed, positive impact.
Setting up monthly giving is a fantastic way to show your ongoing support and increase your impact towards hearing equality for everyone.
You can also become a volunteer with Soundfair. With more than 1 in 6 people affected by hearing conditions, it means that our community is made up of thousands of people who experience the social and emotional impacts of hearing conditions. Social isolation and mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, are common for people with hearing conditions.
Soundfair offers a range of different opportunities for a range of different skills and interest levels. If you would like to express interest in becoming a volunteer with them, call 1300 242 842.
Showcasing the incredible work of Soundfair during November was eye-opening and inspirational. It’s so clear that the support that they get from you and the community of givers is the only reason they can continue doing their significant work every day.