Who We Are and What We Do

Improving the quality of life for all persons with a hearing loss

Hearing Nelson is a charitable organisation founded in 1953. A branch of Hearing New Zealand, we aim to improve the lives of those who are Deaf or hard of hearing through one-on-one support and services such as independent hearing screening tests, hard of hearing advocacy and public awareness campaigns  We promote inclusivity and accessibility for the Deaf and hard of hearing in our lovely region. We have a membership programme that offers free or discounted services as well as quarterly newsletters.

We also work to educate people (particularly youth) about noise-induced hearing loss and how to keep their hearing safe. Global data shows that currently one in five young people have a hearing loss and this number is likely to double over the next 30 years. We'd like to prevent this predicted increase through educating young people and changing attitudes around safe listening. We offer flexible education programmes centred on proactively preventing hearing loss for both children in schools and adult groups in the form of industry visits and community talks.

We receive no Government funding, instead relying on grants, donations, bequests and membership income to fund the work we do.

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Why We Do It

Hearing loss is a growing problem

  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates 466 million (6.1% of the world's population) to be living with a hearing loss.

  • More than 1 billion young people (12-35 years) are at risk for hearing loss due to recreational exposure to loud sound

  • 750 billion is the overall annual cost of unaddressed hearing loss globally

  •  The daily struggle of living with a hearing loss can lead to feelings of embarrassment and frustration 

  • There are many mental, social and emotional effects of hearing loss including depression, isolation and cognitive decline

  • People with a hearing loss are two to five times more likely to develop dementia

  • Hearing loss can force many people into early retirement and those who are deaf or living with a hearing loss are more likely to be unemployed

  • Suicide rates are higher for people living with tinnitus