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Cochlear Americas Renews AG Bell Circle Alliance Partnership Initiatives to Promote Spoken Language Communication for Children a

Washington, D.C., February 21, 2006 - Cochlear Americas has renewed its Circle Alliance Partnership with the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell). Chris Smith, President of Cochlear Americas, will serve on the newly formed AG Bell Corporate Advisory Council and will provide guidance and leadership for AG Bell initiatives that promote spoken language communication for children and adults with hearing loss. Launched in 2004, the Circle Alliance Partnership Program promotes collaboration with partner organizations on a range of AG Bell programs and services.

"Over the past two years, Cochlear Americas has helped AG Bell generate awareness that, with the help of hearing technology such as cochlear implants, children and adults with hearing loss can learn to listen and talk," said K. Todd Houston, Ph.D., Executive Director/CEO, AG Bell. "AG Bell appreciates Cochlear America's support as a Circle Alliance partner and looks forward to the leadership they will bring to the Corporate Advisory Council."

"For so many people dealing with hearing loss, AG Bell is a reliable resource that provides up-to-date, accurate information to help individuals live independently," said Smith, President of Cochlear Americas. "Cochlear Americas is committed to the same beliefs-utilizing advanced technology to enhance learning capabilities and quality of life. We are honored to work hand-in-hand with AG Bell to further serve the entire community."

Since the world's first cochlear implant system was introduced more than 20 years ago, Cochlear Limited and its U.S. headquarters, Cochlear Americas, have brought the miracle of sound to more than 60,000 hearing-impaired individuals across the globe. Cochlear's state-of-the-art technologies, based on extensive research and development at preeminent academic institutions, improve the ability to hear sound and understand speech-enhancing both learning capabilities and quality of life for those with severe to profound hearing loss. Cochlear has remained the market leader in its field thanks to an unwavering commitment to innovation, reliability and customer support. This commitment is reflected in Cochlear's fourth-generation cochlear implant system, the Nucleus FreedomT, which is designed to mimic natural hearing and allow users to interact more fully with the world around them. Numerous awards, as well as published scientific data, attest to Cochlear's outstanding product line and unsurpassed performance. Cochlear's promise "Hear Now. And Always." reflects its dedication to durability and service. 

The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is a lifelong resource, support network, and advocate for listening, learning, talking and living independently with hearing loss. Through publications, advocacy, training, scholarships and financial aid, AG Bell promotes the use of spoken language and hearing technology. Headquartered in Washington, DC with chapters located in the United States and Canada and a network of international affiliates, AG Bell's global presence provides its members and the public with the support they need - close to home. With over a century of service, AG Bell supports its mission: Advocating Independence through Listening and Talking!

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