In November 1988, Hearing Matters Australia and Macquarie University in Sydney established a Hearing Aid Bank to help low-income people access hearing devices.
HMA collects donated hearing devices and sends these devices to the Macquarie University Hearing and Speech Clinic Macquarie University, where they are tested and held in the Bank for subsequent issue to people at a minimal cost.
The scheme assists those who meet eligibility criteria set by HMA.
5 steps to access the hearing aid bank
1.Candidates apply to HMA. To be eligible, you must:
Hold a Health Care Card (excluding Seniors Health Care Card) and/or be a low-income earner
Provide a copy of a recent audiogram obtained from an audiologist (no more than six months)
Have a referral letter from a medical practitioner
Pay a nonrefundable $45 fee that serves both as the application fee for the Hearing Aid Bank, and to join HMA
If not already an HMA member, you will be added to the HMA membership
2.HMA forwards your documentation to the Hearing and Speech Clinic at Macquarie University Speech and Hearing Clinic.
3. At the initial assessment, an audiologist will assess your hearing and functional needs, and take necessary steps to select and fit one or two appropriate hearing devices. This may involve obtaining an impression of one or both ears for earmolds. The audiologist will provide a suitable hearing device from the bank of donated hearing aids. The device is fitted at a second appointment.
4. At the fitting appointment, the audiologist will set up the hearing aid or aids to suit your individual needs. They will explain the management and upkeep of the hearing device to you and discuss your expectations and some communication strategies that you can employ to help you gain the best outcome from your devices.
5. You will be able to arrange follow up appointments with the audiologist, as required.
Where a single hearing aid is provided to you, the charge will be $300. This fee includes the cost of the assessment, fitting of the device and any earmold that is required. Replacement earmolds incur additional fees.
If the audiologist prescribes a second hearing aid, this can be arranged for an additional fee of $100.
After the initial assessment, device fitting and follow up appointments, further consultations and repairs may be charged for at rates set by the clinic.
Hearing aids that are damaged beyond repair may require reapplication to HMA, in which case a further fee of $300 may apply.
How do I apply?
For more information, download the HMA Hearing Aid Bank Program Introductionhere.
Applications can be made to:
Hearing Matters Australia Ground Floor Suite 600, The Australian Hearing Hub, 16 University Ave, Macquarie University, NSW, 2109