The biggest factor in the low rate of cochlear implantation (CI) is the simple fact of lack of awareness of CIs and its life transforming results.
Advocacy, by raising the profile of Cis through publicity and education of all the professionals concerned, is the prime motivator that will promote adult implantation
A new initiative in this is the formation of the Cochlear Implant International Community of Action (CIICA).
It’s not an organisation but a community, a network.
It has formed following an international consultation with key stakeholders about the role of CI advocacy work and its strengths and challenges.
CIICA provides an opportunity for a new way of working for CI advocacy groups, bringing them together with opportunities for sharing and collaboration to strengthen the user, including children and young people, and family voice. The vision of CIICA is a world in which awareness of the benefits of CIs are well known to those with deafness and hearing loss, their families, professionals in the field of deafness and hearing loss, the general public and public health decision makers. A world where access to CIs and lifelong support is available for all appropriate.
The goals for CIICA are to increase the number of people globally who have access to cochlear implants and lifelong aftercare by:
- Raising the international global awareness of the health, social and economic benefits of cochlear implants for those who could benefit from implantation, health care practitioners and wider society.
- Empowering user led advocacy and awareness raising activity to influence governments and health funders to invest in addressing the under provision of CIs and other implantable technologies, related habituation, after care and up-grades.
- Supporting CI advocates with the tools they need to achieve change.
Network Members will include voluntary organisations and groups and individuals involved in advocacy work, Patient, Family and Industry Advocacy Groups and individuals, Professional organisations involved in CI and hearing loss, Policy groups and institutions related to hearing loss, Academic institutions with links to policy work, International agencies with an interest in hearing loss and Governments and funding decision makers.
Sue Archbold is Co-ordinator and Brian Lamb is Public Policy Advisor.
Full details of CIICA can be seen on its website at www.ciicanet.org
CIICA has published a series of specialised reports , some key ones being: