Strategic Focus & Guiding Principles.

Areas of strategic focus.

Because all organisations have finite resources, we must choose wisely from among potential Goals, sometimes conflicting priorities and the many actions we might undertake to attain them. By aligning Goals and actions in our annual workplans with the following three Areas of Strategic Focus, we can stay true to our mission and constitution.

Strategic focus 1: Developing sector-wide knowledge and support for action at the national level.

  • Ensuring the voices of our constituents and consumer representative organisations are considered in consultation processes.
  • Bringing people and knowledge together to underpin evidence-based policy and practice.
  • Being involved in and supporting quality research and programs that benefit the people we represent.
  • Working towards community understanding of the risk factors in hearing loss and how to protect their hearing.

Strategic focus 2: Changing policies and systems at the national level.

  • Driving the implementation of the Hearing Health Road Map with increased funding and better reporting as a means to achieve positive change.
  • Advocating at all levels of Australian government for a more accessible living environment and technologies improving the accessibility of service systems including where they interface with other levels of government.
  • Informing governments about relevant issues and providing advice on legislation, social policies, and reviews that affect our constituents.
  • Working with governments to make hearing care more accessible and affordable for more people.
  • Playing an active role in the effort to overcome high levels of ear health issues among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and through this, contribute to Closing the Gap.

Strategic focus 3: Ensuring Deafness Forum Australia continues as a thriving forum for community voices.

  • Strengthening stakeholder relationships to maintain our legitimacy and authority.
  • A Board of Directors consisting primarily of people with lived experience; and also those with expertise in supporting people with lived experience.
  • Ensuring good governance of the organisation including maintaining sustainable financing.

We are guided by key national and international agreements and strategies.

  • National Preventive Health Strategy is a high-level guide to preventive health actions.
  • Australia’s Disability Strategy for Inclusion.
  • Roadmap for Hearing Health is a national consensus on the range of initiatives the Government and hearing health sector can work together on.
  • National Agreement on Closing The Gap.
  • United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples establishes self-determination as the foundation for designing and implementing culturally appropriate services to close the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Aboriginal people.
  • United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ensures there is appropriate support for people who are deaf or hard of hearing to access supports of their choice, accessible communications and language services.

These are the principles that guide our strategies and daily work.

  • People who are deaf or hard of hearing enjoy the same rights and access as other Australians, with a particular focus on social inclusion.
  • Through proactive advocacy and education, stigma, barriers and discrimination are reduced.
  • There is a priority focus on vulnerable individuals and marginalised communities.
  • Research, changes and improvements are co-designed with those directly impacted.
  • Services are delivered in a person- and family-centred way — and ensure that individuals and their families can effectively exercise choice and control.
    • Person and family-centred care is increasingly recognised as being key to ensuring good quality services and ensuring that users and families can get the best outcomes from care. Person-centred care is respectful and responsive to individual user preferences, needs and personal values ensuring that their needs and values guide all clinical and support decisions. Person-centred care ensures that people are equal partners in the management of their hearing and communication needs, including shared decision-making and goal-setting. Family-centred care ensures health care is planned around the whole family, and all family members are recognised as care recipients and active members. As WHO concludes in the World Report on Hearing (p244), “adopting a people-centred approach that integrates ear and hearing care into national health systems as part of universal health coverage is the only way to confront this growing challenge of addressing hearing loss”.