Beat the silence

Wednesday, 30.09.2015 | 09:00 - 11:00

Organised by MED-EL Medical Electronics

Harnessing the full potential of EU society to ensure growth through inclusion of the disabled: a case study looking at severe hearing loss sufferers

The priorities of the EU are mostly focused on its "growth and jobs" goal, however, we should not forget about the disabled members of our society, nor neglect a key group who, if included, can contribute to that goal, rendering benefits for indivual and society.

People with disabilities are often seen as a cost burden, but many disabilities can be managed to keep up citizen participation. The impact of hearing loss on EU citizens is astounding, but we can control and treat it allowing the disabled to become ‘able’. As our concern over healthcare budgets and an aging population grows, focus should turn to solving the issues that can help prevent the onset of other more costly, diseases whilst allowing sufferers to be active, longer.

Our workshop will cover:

  • The impact of the inclusion of disabled people in the quest for sustainable and inclusive growth in the EU, as well as the benefits created for their own well-being by considered contributing members of society.
  • The prevalence of hearing loss in the EU. Impact of treatment for society, including costs of treatment and costs of non-treatment including for children right up through working age and elderly adults.
  • The clinical viewpoint of treating hearing loss; benefits to treating for children at an early age (cognitive development and motor skills) and the benefits of treating those with severe hearing loss (prevention of onset of early dementia, lowering risk of depression, maintain cognitive abilites).
  • Raising awareness about disabilities and access issues at the European level, with a view from the Austrian experience.
  • A view from a user: how did a cochlear implant change life.
  • The voice of a user.


Karin Kadenbach, Member of the European Parliament (S&D, Austria)

Iain Bruce, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, UK

Ingeborg Hochmair, CEO, MED-EL Medical Electronics

Helena Martins, Head of Digital Engagement, National Deaf Children's Society, UK


Peter O'Donnell, Associate Editor, POLITICO

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