Cochlear Americas Launches Grassroots Effort to Raise Awareness of Hearing Loss and Available Solutions

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Challenges the Public to Help Spread the Word -- One Million People in 31 Days -- Will Donate Up to $150,000 in Products to People in Need

Today, Cochlear Americas, the global leader in implantable hearing solutions, announced its participation in Better Hearing and Speech Month by launching a new campaign, “Have You Heard?” to increase awareness of hearing loss and advanced hearing solutions. The campaign reflects Cochlear’s commitment and passion for bringing the gift of sound to those with hearing loss. Few people are aware of this growing public health issue, its’ social and economic impact and the availability of hearing loss solutions. One out of every 10 people in the U.S. are estimated to have hearing loss.1,2 And, an estimated two million people in the U.S. may be candidates for implantable technology, but approximately only 5 percent of people who can benefit have been treated.3,4

As part of this grassroots campaign Cochlear is challenging the public to help spread the word about hearing loss and hearing loss solutions to one million people in 31 days! “We want to encourage as many people as possible to get involved in this effort and inspire others to help change the lives of those who may be struggling with hearing loss” said Chris Smith, President Cochlear Americas. “Few people are aware of the meaning of hearing loss, the challenges for individuals and families in dealing with hearing loss and the options that are available to improve quality of life.”

With the launch of this new initiative, Cochlear Americas is encouraging all Americans to visit http://www.CochlearAmericas.com/MillionEarChallenge and take the million ear challenge. Visitors will learn more about the facts of hearing loss and available treatment solutions, read inspirational stories of people who have had their hearing restored with a cochlear implant and share messages of hope. When taking the challenge, visitors will be provided with a “Have You Heard?” e-toolkit. The toolkit will help them help others by spreading the word through social media and online activities such as Facebook, Twitter, and email as well as local community events.

Cochlear Americas is so excited about the ‘Have You Heard?’ campaign the company developed the “Give Back” commitment. Each year Cochlear donates more than $200,000 in products to people in need. When the goal is reached through the Million Ear Challenge, they’ll celebrate by donating up to an additional $150,000 in products to people in need by “giving back” two cochlear implants, ten processor upgrades and one full set of accessories for cochlear implant use. Learn more about the “Have You Heard?” campaign and take the million ear challenge by visiting: http://www.CochlearAmericas.com/MillionEarChallenge.

About Better Hearing and Speech Month
BHSM is an annual event that has taken place every May since 1927. The event was started to raise public awareness, knowledge and understanding of various forms of communication impairments including hearing and speech. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, two to three of every 1,000 children are born deaf or hard-of-hearing and one in three people over age 65 have some degree of hearing loss. With hearing loss becoming more common as younger people lose hearing due to noise exposure and baby boomers age, Better Hearing and Speech Month has become even more important as a means of educating the public.

About Cochlear Americas
Cochlear is the world leader in implantable hearing solutions. Since launching the first multichannel cochlear implant system more than 28 years ago, Cochlear Limited has brought the miracle of sound to more than 230,000 individuals with hearing loss across the globe. Cochlear offers industry leading hearing technology solutions which include Nucleus Cochlear Implants and the Baha System, an implantable bone-anchored hearing device. Both products are the number one choice in their category. For more information about Cochlear Americas’ products, call Cochlear Americas at (800)523-5798 (Voice or TDD) or visit http://www.cochlearamericas.com.

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Kelly Krueger
Krueger PR
(415) 235-5031
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