Oticon Alta

Campaign Strives to Raise Hearing Loss Awareness

More than 200 original ideas have been posted on Action and Awareness for Hearing Loss since March when the Oticon Foundation and Ida Institute launched Ideas, Speak up - Action and Awareness for Hearing Loss, a worldwide open call for ideas to build awareness of hearing loss.

The submissions reflect the thinking of people from around the world who are committed to generating ideas that create better understanding of hearing loss, change public perception and encourage people to take action. From smartphone apps and pixelated musical scores to messages printed on t-shirts and sugar packets, the ideas are as varied and unique as the contributors but share one common characteristic – genuine caring for people with hearing loss and the challenges they face.

“With two months remaining in the Ideas Campaign, we encourage everyone to visit awarenessforhearingloss.com and post an idea,” says Ida Institute Managing Director Lise Lotte Bundesen. “Your idea may be the one that captures the imagination of our judging panel or ignites a collaborative discussion that results in a winning concept with the potential to effect change locally or globally."

Ideas Reflect Innovation and Caring

Ideas can be as simple and intuitive as the witty messages printed on coffee cups and sugar packets suggested by contributors from South Africa and Canada.

Other ideas take an innovative approach to educating the general public such as development of an internationally recognized hearing inclusivity symbol that can serve as a visual reminder for good communication practices. More high tech and high profile concepts proposed by contributors from Denmark and the US include awareness-building smartphone apps and international fashion events where high fashion is complemented with the latest design in hearing instruments.

In keeping with Ida Institute’s commitment to the open innovation process, participants can share, debate, comment and vote for ideas posted on the Action and Awareness for Hearing Loss website. One of the positive early outcomes of the Ideas Campaign is the creation of a community of caring made up of the individuals who contribute ideas to the online forum and those who visit the website to review and comment on the ideas.

“The community of individuals committed to making a difference for people with hearing loss continues to grow on a daily basis,” notes Bundesen, “It is clear that the online forum is an ‘idea’ that is already helping to raise awareness and effect positive change for people with hearing loss."

Still Time to Contribute Ideas

The open call for ideas runs through September. During this time, ideas will be shared online and commenting and voting will take place. From October through February 2013, implementation plans for the top-ten ideas will be developed. Subsequently, an expert panel of judges, made up of thought leaders in a variety of hearing and health care, innovation and communication disciplines, will select three winning ideas that will be announced at the 2013 AudiologyNOW! conference.

Participation in the online competition is free of charge and open to all. Visit www.awarenessforhearingloss.com to register.

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