RIDBC celebrates International Cochlear Implant Day

Ethan enjoying a recent tour at Cochlear's global headquarters.

Today, RIDBC is celebrating International Cochlear Implant Day, and is reminding those who are experiencing hearing loss that a cochlear implant could restore their hearing. For some, it may even provide their first experience of hearing sound.

Cochlear implants are electronic medical devices that replace the function of the damaged inner ear. Unlike hearing aids, cochlear implants don’t just make sounds louder. They mimic the hearing function of the inner ear, giving you access to higher quality, more detailed sound.

12 year old, Ethan Downes, and his family are extremely thankful for the way in which cochlear implants have allowed him to embrace every opportunity and reach his goals.

“We had no family history of deafness and didn’t know whether our son would ever hear us tell him that we loved him,” said Ethan’s mother, Georgia. “At a playgroup for parents of kids with hearing impairment, I heard about this amazing cochlear implant program and brilliant doctors.”

Diagnosed as profoundly deaf at just two months of age, Ethan received his first cochlear implant at 12 months old and his second implant, when he was three.

“The support provided by RIDBC’s SCIC Cochlear Implant Program has been wonderful. Our family were supported by a team of specialists who led us along every step of Ethan’s cochlear implant journey,” said Georgia.

This year, Ethan started mainstream high school at Mount Annan Christian College.

“Ethan loves school and continues to receive visits from his RIDBC School Support Teacher, Sue Denman, who is also Ethan’s advocate and is always there for the family if we need anything. He also loves playing baseball and dreams of hitting a home run!

“We don’t know where we would be without the amazing services of RIDBC and dream of a world where Ethan can embrace every opportunity and is never disadvantaged by his hearing loss. We want him to change the world,” said Georgia.

RIDBC Chief Executive, Chris Rehn, said, "The SCIC Cochlear Implant Program supports clients to access a range of implantable hearing devices, services and support, according to their needs.

"The program provides the highest level of care and support through a seamless, end-to-end suite of services, from early intervention and education for children with hearing loss; through to specialist assessment, surgical liaison and re/habilitation support for people of all ages."

To learn more about RIDBC’s SCIC Cochlear Implant Program, visit ridbc.org.au/scic or call 1300 658 981.

RIDBC relies heavily on fundraising and community support to be able to continue to make a difference in people's lives.

RIDBC is Australia’s largest non-government provider of therapy, education, cochlear implant and diagnostic services for people with hearing or vision loss, supporting thousands of adults, children and their families, each year.