Following Victorian Hearing’s recent contentious advertising campaign for their invisible hearing aids, Deaf Children Australia, like many others in the deaf sector, have been working to turn the situation around and project positive images and messages around deafness.
We objected to the negative messages in the advertisements. We then met with Victorian Hearing and offered to help them consult and produce more sensitive campaigns which reduce the stigma of wearing hearing aids and cochlear implants. Victorian Hearing told us they are genuinely sorry for their error in judgement and we have recently received the following apology and commitment:
“Our future publications will focus on the positive benefits of the hearing devices we supply.
We sincerely apologise to all those that you represent, including their families. We remain dedicated to offering the best services to all with hearing difficulties.
Thank-you for the opportunity to meet with Deaf Children Australia to discuss how we could consult and work together for a positive future.”
They have published the following apology on their Facebook page:
“Victorian Hearing extends an unreserved apology to all those people offended by our recent invisible hearing solution ad. These ads were removed from our website and Facebook page the same day we were informed of the offence they had caused. On that same day, we requested they should be removed from the trams and this was actioned by the tram company as soon as possible. This ad will not be published again.
Our future publications will focus on the positive benefits of the hearing devices that we supply. Victorian Hearing is working with Deaf Children Australia and will approach other deafness organisations to enable us to consult on future advertising campaigns. We hope to create positive imagery and messages in the future which will help those who are deaf or hard of hearing, including those who choose to wear hearing aids and cochlear implants, to feel good about themselves and their deafness.”
Deaf Children Australia has also been pleased to support the #HearingAidsAreTheNew Black campaign which was set up as a positive response and call to action after the advertising campaign. The campaigners said, “This is an amazing possibility to show the world how to exhibit something in a positive light and encourage acceptance”. As part of this campaign, people have been posting pictures of themselves proudly wearing their hearing devices.
Victorian Hearing would also like to post similar images on their Facebook page to show they are committed to encouraging children and adults to feel good about their deafness, and to feel confident if they choose to wear hearing aids or cochlear implants. If you would like to stand up and be proud – and you would be happy to share an image of yourself or your child wearing a hearing aid or cochlear implant on Victorian Hearing’s Facebook page – please send us your photo or your child’s drawing or painting of themselves.
With the support of Victorian Hearing, Deaf Children Australia will be developing a 2016 calendar filled with positive images so your photo could be part of this too. Please forward images to DCA Communications Manager Loretta Walshe at email@example.com or share them on DCA’s Facebook page. Any images for the calendar will need to be high resolution jpegs.