About Deafness Forum

We are the peak national body representing the interests of the 3.5 million Australians who are concerned with the quality of their hearing and the effects it has on their lives and the people around them. We provide balanced and realistic advice to government to inform public policy and build a fairer and more inclusive nation. Our membership includes people living with hearing loss and their families; as well as associations of, or for these people; and individuals and associations which provide services that promote hearing health and wellbeing. We are closely connected to the ‘grass roots’ in our community sector. This helps us to make sure that the government is aware of individual and social perspectives.

What we do

We:

  • represent and promote the interests of our members and others through national consultations, sharing information and advocacy
  • provide a forum for organisations and individuals to promote these interests; and an information channel to service providers, the wider health and disability sectors, the community and politicians
  • encourage and support relevant research and sharing of knowledge and experience
  • advise government on strategic policy development and reform.

You can read more about us in our Strategic Plan, Constitution and Annual reports

Hearing loss in Australia

With an ageing population, hearing loss is predicted to increase to one in every four Australians by 2050. About a third of acquired hearing loss is because of noise exposure from workplace noise and leisure activities and is largely preventable. Hearing loss increases from less than one per cent for people younger than 15 years to three in every four people aged over 70 years. About a fifth of the population live with ear disorders such as Tinnitus and Meniere’s. Hearing loss is a significant and economic cost to Australia − about $15 billion each year. In particular, with our ageing population, and the need for all Australians to stay productive for longer, impact of hearing loss on productivity at work must be viewed as critical. People who want to work and have a hearing loss face challenges that most of their hearing peers won’t be aware of. For some, the barriers are clear at or before they start looking for work and, for many, they become more important during the selection process or at work. Hearing loss can also mean people leave work sooner than they would like and before the age they plan to retire.