Hear and Say is nestled in a quiet suburb of Brisbane. It has been established since 1992 and in that time they have built themselves an excellent reputation, both locally and internationally. They recently moved into a state of the art new facility in Brisbane, where they can deliver a range of services to families under one roof – audiology, Cochlear Implant mapping, auditory verbal therapy, social skills groups, parent support, student training…and so the list goes on. It was great to be able to join in with many of these activities and quiz parents about what they find most useful and important about the services they receive.

Rosie's trip Hear and Say buildingHear and Say’s growth provided an excellent opportunity for me to learn about how the structures might look in an organisation that provides integrated audiological and habilitation services under one roof, for all children with a hearing loss. This is not something that currently exists in the UK – AVT offered on the NHS is within implant programs, and AVUK only offers audiology for hearing aids under ‘Listen and talk as one’ in London. From a personal perspective as part of the leadership team at AVUK, it was great to hear from others around the world who do my job, and how they structure their teams, quality assurance and training of therapists.

Hear and Say face many of the same challenges as us, including the distances involved for families, even within the state of Queensland. This means that the team have long been experts in the delivery of distance therapy. Similarly to us, they use Skype, but they also integrate this with visits to the centre twice a year for families, allowing them to both assess children’s progress and provide parent education sessions and an opportunity for families to meet.  As well as families at distance, Hear and Say Worldwide is the training arm of the organisation which runs an online programme for professionals. It was amazing to be able to see this in action and to hear about the technology they use – from learning some clever PowerPoint tricks to recording in front of a green screen. I’m really looking forward to putting some of these ideas into practise to improve our training in the UK.

The team at Hear and Say were so warm and welcoming, making time to share openly about what they are currently doing and their aims and aspirations for the future. It was great also to feel that I could give a little back in presenting to the clinical team about the way we work on Theory of Mind at AVUK. It was truly a privilege to spend the last week at Hear and Say.

Written by Rosie Quayle, Clinical Lead at Auditory VerbalUK

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