Home / Blog / Four hundred deaf and hard-of-hearing Jamaicans have received hearing aids courtesy of the Starkey Hearing Foundation.


  • Four hundred deaf and hard-of-hearing Jamaicans have received hearing aids courtesy of the Starkey Hearing Foundation.
    5 Jul , 2018

















    Four hundred deaf and hard-of-hearing Jamaicans have received hearing aids courtesy of the Starkey Hearing Foundation.



    The global organisation, committed to providing custom hearing aids to people in need, was on a special mission to Jamaica in June, 2018.

    The mission, which was supported by Digicel Foundation, the Ministry of Health, Jamaica Association for the Deaf, The Council for Senior Citizens, Tastee, Wisynco, JPS Foundation, Chinese Benevolent Association, Bob Marley Foundation, among others, saw the international group providing hearing aids and training recipients how to use and care for the devices.

    Regional coordinator —Caribbean at the Starkey Foundation, Tamiann Young, said: “Thanks to our partnerships here in Jamaica, we were able to again fit Jamaicans who have hearing loss and are unable to afford hearing aids. The beauty of our model is the fact that these persons will receive batteries for their aids and access to monthly aftercare support for the devices they have received at no cost to them.”

    The team from Starkey Hearing Foundation comprised members from across the Caribbean region, the UK and the United States who participated in the mission at various stations where the patients were seen. These stations included: ear screenings, ear cleaning/otoscopy, the Starkey W F A ™ voice test, ear molds and fitting, counselling and final quality control.

    “We are happy to have been supporting the Starkey Hearing Foundation from the inception of their work here in 2017, we commend them on this simple, scalable and sustainable W F A Community -based hearing health care programme model. The ability to provide hearing aids to those in need is truly admirable as these devices are generally quite pricy. They certainly do help the deaf and hearing impaired navigate society more easily if they choose to get one, so we were happy to provide support for Starkey’s mission to Jamaica,” said Digicel Foundation CEO Karlene Dawson.

    International Development Director — Caribbean Kirk Richards said: “The Starkey Hearing Foundation is happy to be back in Jamaica. With responsibility for the Caribbean, it is quite heart-warming to see the similarities yet differences we all face. But one thing holds true, is the fact that we all want to communicate and want a fair chance at life. To see the outpouring of responses by persons who have hearing loss here in Jamaica and for those who want to be fit with a hearing aid, Starkey Hearing Foundation is happy to provide that opportunity along with our local partners.

    The team from Starkey fitted over 800 people in Jamaica last year during two visits in June and December, and the foundation continues, its volunteers provide monthly aftercare, free of cost to the patients who have been fit.

    In the words of the founder, Mr William F Austin: ‘Alone we can’t do much, together we can change the world!’

    As a young man, William F. Austin, founder of Starkey Hearing Foundation, realized his true calling in life was helping people hear, and that by doing so, he could have a lasting impact on the world.

    For more than 50 years, Austin has been providing the gift of hearing to people in need, and to formalize the philanthropic efforts of Starkey Hearing Technologies, he officially founded Starkey Hearing Foundation in 1984.

    Austin built the organization on his vision — So the World May Hear. Over the last three decades, he has expanded the Foundation’s reach from Minnesota, across the United States and around the world. With the help of thousands of volunteers and supporters. Starkey Hearing Foundation made a commitment in 2010 to the Clinton Global Initiative to provide 1 million hearing aids this decade.

    Starkey Foundation was established in 1984 and continues their community-based programs in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Central America, Middle East, South-East Asia and the Caribbean, with the aim of providing services at no cost to the beneficiaries and to promote healthy hearing health care worldwide.

    Source: jamaicaobserver.com, Starkey Hearing Foundation
    Image credit: Ryan Gentles