Advocacy Activities of the CAA with the Hearing Health Alliance of Canada
This is an update on the advocacy activities of the Canadian Academy of Audiology as a member of Hearing Health Alliance of Canada as of April 8, 2019.
Two years ago, a small group of organizations began discussions on forming a National Alliance to raise awareness of the impact of unmanaged hearing loss, the need for prevention of hearing loss and the urgency to act towards building a national strategy for hearing health. A second group of organizations began similar work in June of last year. Both groups joined together to continue the work of a Hearing Health Alliance of Canada.
The governance of the Alliance is founded on the principle that many professions, consumers, fund raisers, researchers and companies have roles in ensuring a healthy and vibrant hearing health system in Canada. All these organizations have one major objective in common: to raise awareness and to address solutions to our failing hearing health care system in Canada. The current membership of 7 organizations has a vision of growth moving ahead.
Ultimately, one big voice is more powerful than many small ones. Planning moved to action…
October 2018: Hearing Day on the Hill
- Individual meetings with 10 Members of Parliament, Senators and senior staff in all parties
- Targeted members of the Committee on Health, the Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, the Minister for Seniors and related influencers of Federal Health policy.
- To raise awareness of the impact of unmanaged hearing loss, the need for prevention and public education and need to raise awareness across the public and health continuum
- To ask advice on how to move ahead towards a national strategy
November 2018 – January 2019
- Continued similar messaging and soliciting advice in meetings in Ottawa and constituency offices with 6 more MPs and Senators and some senior staff
- One meeting generated a special invitation to appear before a House of Commons Standing committee (see below)
- Several meetings with Ontario MPPs with the same purpose
- Presented to the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women on hearing loss in seniors (by invitation) – Committee is 11 MPs including the Minister for Seniors-all parties represented
House of Commons Committee on the Status of Women
- Hosted a reception at Queen’s Park to continue raising awareness and receiving guidance on a national strategy
- Approximately 50 MPPs and their staff attended. They included members with health and economic related roles. The Minister for Children engaged in conversation with key Alliance members
April 8 and 9, 2019
- Press conference
- Open house in Ottawa for Federal MPs, Senators and their staff
- Messaging will reinforce and build on prior meetings
Feedback from government officials has been good.
- They had encouraged and are very pleased with the formation of an Alliance representing many facets and stakeholders in the hearing health
- They are learning about the current status and urgency to improve hearing health. They are asking relevant questions demonstrating their keen interest in improving this important project to benefit their constituents across the country.
- We have identified allies and champions and gained insightful advice.
The Hearing Health Alliance of Canada (HHAC) is a collaborative partnership between the Hearing Instrument Practitioners of Ontario, the Canadian Academy of Audiology, the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association, the Canadian Hearing Instrument Practitioners Society, Cochlear Canada Inc., The Hearing Foundation of Canada and the Hearing Industry Association of Canada.
The HHAC collaborates to raise the awareness of hearing health and the impact of unmanaged hearing loss. The Alliance advocates for and works towards the development and implementation of a Canadian national hearing health strategy. The Alliance has an experienced advocacy advisor/coordinator and is self-supported through shared member funding and in-kind contributions.