2008 Excellence Award Winners

Excellence in Hearing and Speech Service

Quota International of Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia, District 24

Life became a little simpler for deaf and hard-of-hearing Coffs Harbour residents last year, thanks to the local Quota club’s Hearing and Speech Expo. Recognizing that the challenges of hearing loss are further complicated by ever-changing technology, an intricate web of social services, and constant treatment, Coffs Harbour Quotarians brought a variety of service providers to one location. In planning the expo, the club aimed to provide information about resources and education, demonstrations of technology, and support for speech and hearing-impaired residents of all ages—all while raising Quota’s profile.

The event was ambitious—and so was the club that planned to pull it off! The Expo was advertised through local television, radio, and newspapers—posters displayed at strategic locations as well as mailings to athletic, social, and other groups. While some members spread the word, others recruited companies, volunteer groups, and government organizations to man booths and give presentations on the day of the event. The eleven who accepted were greeted with a carefully laid out venue, equipped to handle the large number of guests streaming through during the course of the day. A smorgasbord of sorts awaited them: three companies with audiologists performing free hearing assessments and scheduling follow-up appointments, sign language lessons from the Deaf Society, advice on managing life with a hearing impairment and educating children with hearing impairments, social opportunities, government services, and, of course, friendly Quota volunteers directing them to ensure that they got the most out of their day.

To read or print the club’s winning application, click here*.

Quota International of Moss Vale, New South Wales, Australia, District 35

Quota International of Moss Vale’s made a year-long commitment to hearing and speech service. The club capitalized on the expertise of club member Pat Fulton—a Registered Nurse and hearing coach who is also hearing impaired and uses a hearing aid—to guide their efforts. Raising public awareness was a key goal in the effort, and members prepared, printed, and distributed brochures (Do You Suffer from Hearing Loss?) and fact sheets (Hearing Awareness), which provided practical information on hearing loss throughout the community. The club then sponsored Pat to speak at Quota’s 2007 South Pacific Area Meeting and regional meetings organized by Deafness Forum Australia, where she highlighted the effects of hearing loss and offered tips on raising public awareness. Later in the year, they promoted National Hearing Awareness Week with press releases in newspapers, television, and radio and manned an information stand to provide community members with information on hearing programs and hearing aid consultations.

Raising awareness was just the beginning of the club’s work last year, as they also provided direct services and funding. Their innovative program “Hearing Buddies” trains staff at area aged care facilities to understand the management of client hearing aids and assist in meaningful communication between themselves and those in their care. Thanks to Quota, the local community center has a new hearing loop, a student athlete received a cochlear implant, and local children received funding to attend the Science Challenge at University of Sydney, where children with hearing problems learn about careers in the sciences.

These efforts may sound exhausting, but Moss Vale Quotarians will tell you that they’re actually energizing! Running such a wide range of programs requires diverse skills, talents, and knowledge, allowing every member to participate and make a difference in a true club effort.

To read or print the club’s winning application, click here*.

To return to the 2008 Excellence Award Winners main page, click here.

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