In an effort to encourage social and professional integration of Aussies with hearing loss, Connect Hearing – one of Australia’s fastest growing hearing care groups – has teamed up with Uber to make it easier for all people with hearing difficulties to re-join the workforce and stay active within the community.
One in six Australians suffer from some degree of hearing loss, and one in two are over the age of 60. Additionally, hearing loss is projected to increase to 1 in every 4 Australians by 2050.
Older adults are also at a greater risk of becoming isolated due to a range of physical, social and structural factors – including hearing loss. Hearing loss is often misunderstood, overlooked or simply not discussed, yet it can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life and ability to work.
Australians who are interested in becoming an Uber driver-partner – especially those aged 60+ – may require a hearing assessment to be eligible.
Wolfgang Bennedik, Managing Director at Connect Hearing, said the company was committed to making hearing tests more accessible and providing the latest hearing technology to Australians.
“People with hearing loss – no matter what their age – shouldn’t feel they are isolated from the community or unable to work,” said Mr Bennedik.
“Australia’s rapidly ageing population means that we need initiatives – like the Connect Hearing and Uber partnership – in place to help protect older Australians’ livelihood.
Lawrence Gordon, aged 67 and a resident of Roseville in Sydney, recently signed up as an Uber driver-partner and found the process simple and hassle-free.
“After retiring from my previous job where I had been working for over 30 years, I didn’t want to simply stop being active – both in a professional and social sense. I had heard positive things about becoming an Uber driver from a friend and I had a car, so I thought why not?!” said Mr Gordon.
“The process itself was straightforward, including the paperwork and a full hearing assessment at Connect Hearing – which I was overdue for anyway! I’m now proud to say I’ve ticked all the boxes and I’m a fully-fledged Uber driver-partner, ready to hit the road!”
Clinical audiologist and Professional Practice manager at Connect Hearing, Lauren McNee believes there is no reason why a person with suitably treated hearing loss can’t be behind the wheel of a car.
“Innovation in the hearing category has come a long way over the past decade. It is a straightforward process to get assessed, and there are a range of hearing devices and support tools available, which mean Uber drivers with hearing loss can drive like anyone else on the road and communicate easily with their passengers,” said Ms McNee.
“At Uber, we believe flexible economic opportunities should be made available to all. That’s why we introduced app updates designed specifically to support driver partners who have hearing difficulties,” said Mike Abbott, General Manager Operations, Uber.
“Today, ridesharing offers dozens of partners who have hearing difficulties with a new way to work, on their terms, and in doing so boosts the income of people who need it most.
“We’re now super excited to be partnering with Connect Hearing to open up flexible work opportunities to more people in the community with hearing loss to drive on the uberX platform.
“In an era of where the cost of living is rising, ridesharing gives partners who have hearing loss an opportunity to provide for themselves and their family, all with the flexibility to work when, where and how they want,” Mr Abbott continued.
Australia Connect Hearing will offer full hearing assessments and discounted products and services for all people who want to become an Uber driver-partner.
Australia For more information about Connect Hearing or to find your closest retail store, visit https://www.connecthearing.com.au/clinics To sign up as an Uber driver, visit https://www.uber.com/en-AU/
Media contact: Clare Varden at Health Haus – 0402 188 054 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Interviews available upon request.
About Connect Hearing:
Connect Hearing Australia is part of the AudioNova Group, a fast growing international professional service network of hearing care providers. Currently, there are over 120 Connect Hearing clinics across Australia. The company is dedicated to delivering outstanding service and technology solutions for people with hearing loss. Constantly thinking to improve information, education, screening, counselling and support, Connect Hearing always puts its customers in the centre of attention, knowing that better hearing starts with understanding their individual needs. For more information, visit connecthearing.com.au
1. Access Economics (2006) Listen Hear! The economic impact and cost of hearing loss in Australia. Available at: https://audiology.asn.au/public/1/files/Publications/ListenHearFinal.pdf.