Symposium Topics

1.     Health Economics
How much does cochlear implant (CI) rehabilitation cost unilaterally vs. bilaterally? How much does it cost if a patient doesn’t get a CI at all? How long it is reasonable and cost effective to rehabilitate patients with hearing aids? What are the indicators for CI operation evaluation? Is the criteria same for children, adults of working age and elderly people? How is the quality of life taken into account from the health economics point of view?

2.     Accessibility to Education and Lifelong Learning
Accessibility to education from the point of view of hard-of-hearing and deafblind people. Presenting light and easy solutions which add accessibility in education and in digital learning solutions. Lifelong learning is possible even when you face restrictions and challenges in your studies.

3.     Multilingualism
Multilingualism in families which use two or more languages at home, where one or more family members have a CI. Different languages may be used for speech, writing and sign language. How do families take hearing impairment into account when selecting languages? Is the use of sign language affecting spoken language skills? How CI user learns foreign languages? The theme Multilingualism calls for papers and welcomes presentation suggestions.

4.     Peer Support and Rehabilitation
Peer support and rehabilitation is hugely important throughout the lifetime of a hard-of-hearing person. To learn of the possibilities for CI rehabilitation, and about CI in general when considering surgery, one needs information and peer support before, during and after the operation. Information, peer support and rehabilitation should continue to the end of life because even long-time CI users may experience new situations, for example in relation to their health or other life-changing situations. Good quality information, comprehensive support and a peer support network must always be available. We will discuss these issues more in the symposium.

5.     Design for all
Accessibility is especially important for deafblind people, many of whom are CI users. The accessibility needs of ”only” hard-of-hearing people often take second place. Accessibility is often considered from only the physically disabled point of view. Acoustics and lighting are especially important for hard-of-hearing and deafblind people – how can these be taken into account when designing, for example, the accessibility of public spaces and traffic solutions? Similarly, the usability of assistive devices is important to people with hearing loss.

6.     Music and Cognitive Development
Cognitive abilities include recognition and interpretation of sensory stimuli, attention, memory, language, visual and spatial processing, and abilities that enable goal-oriented behaviour. They are supported by specific brain networks. How does hearing loss affect cognitive development? How do music and musical activities support the development of cognitive abilities at different ages? This symposium addresses these questions and investigates how musical activities can be integrated into daily life and rehabilitation. Music conveys emotions, is important for our well-being and belongs to all of us!