Celebrating CIICA’s First ANNIVERSARY: International CI day 2022. The Impact of the Pandemic

International Cochlear Implant (CI) Day, 25 February, was also the first anniversary of CIICA, the CI International Community of Action. In one year, CIICA’s network has grown to 79 organisations, and 370 individuals from 52 countries across the globe, united in the goal of increasing access to cochlear implantation and lifelong services for all those with hearing loss who can benefit.

Huge thanks to all the members of EURO-CIU who have been so supportive to this
initiative – and as Teresa Amat, President, said: “The synergies of the network members have far exceeded our expectations in the first year.”

To celebrate our Anniversary, we asked for video messages about the Impact of the
Pandemic – we had some great thoughtful responses which pointed out the challenges – but also what we have learnt. Thanks to PINDROP, New Zealand we have a great compilation video on the impact of the pandemic on our home page: www.ciicanet.org, and the individual videos at www.ciicanet.org/news from across the globe.

As Robert Mandara, Vice President of EURO-CIU said “The pandemic forced me to
confront and overcome my fears of video calls.” Many of us could relate to that and what we have learnt over the past two years! Darja Pajk, of EFHOH, made the point that “Perhaps more people will understand the problems of people with hearing loss” having experienced difficulties in communication, and Ingeborg Dhooge of Belgium encouraged us to remember that “People are resilient, are creative and look for solutions.”

Our CIICA LIVE event for International CI day and our Anniversary followed up the topic of The Impact of the Pandemic- hearing from users, families and service providers; again, really thoughtful presentations about moving on with services differently in spite of the challenges.

All presentations are available at CIICA LIVE: The Impact of the Pandemic on CI users, Families and Services – CIICA (ciicanet.org). Accessibility is important to us: all our events have live captioning, with translations into other languages on request. Our website has over 40 languages available and many of our resources are translated into other languages by members.

A recent innovation has been our CIICA Conversations where a small group has a lively conversation for one hour to explore a specific topic; these have included tele-practice and the impact of the pandemic. A summary of the issues which emerge is then available for further comment on the website. Importantly, young people are also part of this conversation; read Zahra’s lively account of the conversations! As Bowen Tang, President of International Federation of Hard of Hearing Young People said: “Our technology has to last a lifetime and we have to build a relationship with our CI” See FULL: CIICA CONVERSATION: Life with CI: 18-30’s in Conversation: Together we can shape our future – CIICA (ciicanet.org) for the summary of their shared issues.

The pandemic has made us all aware of the huge value of communication in our lives and for those with hearing loss the technology of CI can be key to communication and
connection with other people. CIICA will continue to ensure that cochlear implantation
remains at the front of health care decisions, even in challenging times, and join the
activity to support the efforts to support refugees from Ukraine with hearing loss.

Hearing and Communication is even more important in a crisis. Visit www.ciicanet.org to see our global activities.

Categories: BLOG


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