VACCHO works collaboratively with VACCHO Members, Aboriginal Community-controlled organisations (ACCOs) and key local, state and national stakeholders to improve ear/hearing and speech health outcomes for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people living in Victoria.
For more information please contact our Ear Health Coordinator or call 03 9411 9411.
Below is a list of tools and resources VACCHO has put together to assist members of Community and our Member organisations in relation to ear, hearing and speech health.
Tools for Community
- Blow Breathe Cough (BBC) by Hearing Australia – The BBC activity helps early childhood and school educators teach young children about nose blowing, coughing into elbows, and hand and face washing and drying. These are essential for preventing the spread of the germs that cause ear trouble, coughs and colds.
- Otitis Media Guidelines: Resources for Families – The Centre of Research Excellence in Ear and Hearing Health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children (CRE_ICHEAR) have developed and collected a number of useful fun educational resources for children and their families to access in relation to their hearing health.
- Care for kids ears – Care for Kids’ Ears is an Australian Government Department of Health initiative that helps parents, carers, teachers, teachers’ aides, early childhood workers and health professionals recognise and prevent ear disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
- Growing up listening and yarning skill by Plum & Hats – Simple activities you can to help your boorai’s (0 – 5 years) listening and yarning skills.
Tools for Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations
Hearing screening tools
Babies and toddlers – Screening questionnaires: Plum & Hats (nal.gov.au)
School aged children – Sound Scouts: An online hearing test app that delivers an immediate report, including next steps if a hearing loss is detected.
Older children and adults – hearWHO app: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has developed a mobile and web-based software application for hearing screening. The hearWHO app is easy to use and clearly displays the users’ results and keeps a personalized track record of their hearing status over time.
- Services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults
- Who when and how to refer to Hearing Australia
- HAPEE Ears for Early Years – A program providing safe and simple hearing checks to children aged 0 – 6 years who do not yet attend full time school and on-going advice and support to parents and carers.
Rural Workforce Agency Victoria (RWAV)
- Health Ears Better Hearing – funding for outreach diagnostic audiology 0-21yrs old
- Eye & Ear Surgical Support – funding to enable access to ENT services)
Education and training
Recommended training courses and resources for hearing and ear health
The EarTrain Program (NSW Tafe) – EarTrain is a free online program for primary health care professionals to identify and treat otitis media and other hearing conditions in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Hearing Australia Tympanometry training for primary health workers – A self-paced tympanometry module to sharpen up your skills. The module steps you through a refresher on what tympanometry does, why and how to use it, and how to interpret the results.
World Health Organisation (WHO) Basic ear and hearing care resource – There are many myths and misconceptions about ear diseases and hearing loss. This resource focuses on community involvement and raising awareness; and will provide useful information for preventing and addressing ear diseases and hearing loss
Otitis Media Guidelines – Resources for Health Professionals – The Centre of Research Excellence in Ear and Hearing Health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children (CRE_ICHEAR) have collected a number of useful resources for health professionals dealing with ear and hearing care.
Ear and Speech Health Survey
VACCHO, Rural Workforce Agency Victoria, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, Murray PHN and Soundfair are working together to determine the ear and hearing health care needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Victoria.
We conducted a survey to identify gaps, barriers and resources and supports needed to assist our Communities. Download a copy of the survey results report here [PDF, 1MB].
What’s next? We want to work with our ACCOs to set some collective goals to improve hearing and speech services for Community. Contact us for more information.
Meet and learn about the project team in this video.
Victorian Aboriginal Ear & Speech Health Group (VAESH)
The VAESH Group meet regularly to discuss ear/hearing and speech concerns and challenges currently faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Victoria.
Got a query? Get in touch by filling out and submitting the form below or by phone 03 9411 9411.