IHEAR is an abbreviation of “In school with HEARing impairment”, and the vision behind the project is to assure that no child with hearing impairment is left behind in school. The IHEAR project was initiated in the beginning of 2017 and it is set to run until the end of 2020. Most children with hearing impairment find it more challenging to perform academically and socially compared to children with normal hearing.
The IHEAR project has two main goals: To investigate performance in school for children with hearing impairment and compare the performance to children with normal hearing, and to come up with solutions that will close any gap between children with hearing impairment and children with normal hearing that would be identified.
First large-scale paediatric hearing study run partly at a Danish hearing healthcare company
Almost 50 children aged 4-8, who are starting in school, participate in the IHEAR project. Some children use hearing aids and bone-anchored hearing systems, but most of the children are cochlear implants users. This gives Oticon Medical and Oticon – partners in the research project – an opportunity to learn more about the needs of children currently wearing hearing devices and what it takes to help improve their daily life.
Audiologists at Oticon Medical and Oticon carry out yearly assessments of children with hearing impairment. It is the first time that a Danish hearing healthcare company runs a paediatric study on so many children.
The IHEAR project uses auditory-verbal practice, which means that parents and teachers play a significant role in ensuring that children make the most of their hearing abilities, both at home and at school. The IHEAR project gives families and teachers specific tools and advice on how to help the children achieve their potential.
The IHEAR project gives concrete advice to teachers and parents on how to make it easier for children with hearing impairment to engage in conversations, for example by framing sentences in different ways and stressing specific words.
By facilitating exchanges between hearing specialists and teachers, the IHEAR project also intends to update knowledge on hearing impairment to help teachers and schools to better support children with hearing impairment. The project ensures that children with hearing impairment have all in place to reach the same academic levels as their peers – and thus get the same opportunities in life.
About the IHEAR project
The Oticon Foundation has supported the IHEAR project with 1.5 million Danish kroner and William Demant companies Oticon Medical and Oticon run the yearly hearing tests.
The project is led by Decibel, a non-profit Danish patient organisation for children with hearing impairment. Besides Oticon Medical and Decibel, Innovation Fund Denmark, the Capital Region of Denmark, Rigshospitalet, and Aarhus University Hospital also participate in the project.