World Hearing Day 2021

World Hearing Day is held on 3 March each year to raise awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and promote ear and hearing care across the world. WHO 2021 Theme – “Hearing for All – Screen, Rehabilitate & Communicate”

  • 1 in 6 Australians are affected by hearing loss.
  •  There are approximately 30,000 Deaf Auslan users with total hearing loss [2].
  • Hearing impairment, or Deafness, is when your hearing is affected by a condition or injury. Some people are born with a hearing loss while others may develop it as they get older.
  • Most commonly, hearing loss happens with age or is caused by loud noises.
  • Damage to your hearing is often a gradual process - the effects of noise exposure are permanent. What is excessive noise? When you must raise your voice to be able to speak to someone at an arm's length.
  • Some of the early warning signs are: you can hear but not understand; you find it hard to hear in noisy situations or groups of people; you think people mumble; you need to turn the TV up louder than others or, you don't always hear the doorbell or the phone.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience some of the highest levels of ear disease and hearing loss in the world, with rates up to almost 4 times those of non-Indigenous Australian children. The bulk of hearing problems in remote communities can be prevented and treated if diagnosed early, reducing the possibility of lasting consequences.
  • Around one in five Australians are at risk of permanent irreversible hearing loss from noise exposure at work. We aim to prevent avoidable noise-induced hearing loss in all Australians, by educating on how to protect against ear damage and engage in safe listening.

The ANU regularly revises procedures aimed at keeping staff safe at work.  Find the ANU Noise management Policy ANUP_000581 and further information in the WHS Management System Handbook. If you would like to read more informatino collected by the ANU Disability Action Plan Committee on World Hearing Day please read the attached flyer.

If you work at the ANU and you have hearing loss you can find more information on the ANU website at Staff Disability Support.  For further information and support with workplace adjustments and equipment that may be of assistance contact Injury Management via email The ANU Disability Network operates for staff with a disability to provide an exchange of information and mutual support.  To join please email


What is it Like to be Deaf or Hard of Hearing?

The Ear Science Institute of Australia have developed the Hearing Loss Simulator (1.03) so you can experience what it is like to have mild, moderate and severe hearing loss.

This short clip shows you what it’s like to read lips (4:19) and probably highlights how much easier life is with captioning for people who have hearing loss. 

Check your Hearing

There are many free online sites which offer initial hearing tests to detect possible hearing loss.  These typically assess for any hearing loss and if have hearing loss, you will need a more comprehensive test.  Get your free Hearing Test at Hearing Australia.

Hearing Australia have put together this short video (2:51) on seeking an assessment if you have hearing loss.  Some people wait up to 15 years to have an assessment which predisposes them to many other health related conditions, including anxiety and depression.

Check your children’s hearing using Sound Scouts ,  an App supported by the Australian Government Department of Health and Hearing Australia which uses a games-based test to check the hearing of children 4yrs +.


Further Links and Resources

Hearing Australia – The largest provider of government funded hearing services in Australia.

Deafness Forum of Australia – The Australian peak body representing people with hearing loss.

Hearing Awareness Week – A joint initiative supported by Deafness Forum of Australia and World Hearing Forum set up to recognise World Hearing Day and Hearing Awareness Week which includes links to a range of fact sheets.

World Health Organisation – World Report on Hearing, presenting a global call for action to address hearing loss and ear diseases across the life course.

Australian Network on Disability (2019), Disability Statistics, retrieved 6th January 2021