EURO-CIU welcomes new Apple Memoji depicting a Cochlear Implant user

Apple has announced the new memoji’s will be on additional features coming later this year to better represent users with oxygen tubes, cochlear implants, and a soft helmet for headwear. EURO-CIU has welcomed the move which the group has lobbied for since 2018.

The initative was part of a wider annoncecment by Apple including the launch a new service, called SignTime which enables customers to communicate with AppleCare and Retail Customer Care by using American Sign Language (ASL) in the US, British Sign Language (BSL) in the UK, or French Sign Language (LSF) in France, in their web browsers.

Apple are also adding support for new bi-directional hearing aids. The microphones in these new hearing aids enable those who are deaf or hard of hearing to have hands-free phone and FaceTime conversations.

They are also introducing support for recognizing audiograms to Headphone Accommodations. Users can quickly customize their audio with their latest hearing test results imported from a paper or PDF audiogram. Headphone Accommodations amplify soft sounds and adjust certain frequencies to suit a user’s hearing.

Welcoming the news Teresa Amat, President EURO-CIU, said “We thank Apple for hearing the demands from EURO-CIU and engineering technology to respond to everyone’s needs. We hope all the industry will follow them and hearing loss and cochlear implants will be more visible than ever.”

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New Zealand doubles the number of people to benefit from Cochlear Implants following successful campaign

Lee Schoushkoff, the Northern Cochlear Implant Programme chief executive and CIICA steering group member welcomed new funding announced by the Health Minister, Andrew Little. The number of adults getting cochlear implants for hearing loss will almost double, thanks to a big funding boost announced as part of Budget 2021.

Andrew Little said that while children are prioritised and rarely have a long wait for an implant, it is important to help adults too. He added that; “Severe or profound hearing loss has a huge impact on people, affecting their family lives, their social lives and their ability to work.

In our 2020 election manifesto we promised to double the number of cochlear implants the Government funds, and today we are moving to deliver on that. The Wellbeing Budget 2021 increase means that 320 more people will get implants by 2025. For these people, this will be life-changing, meaning they can work and socialise more easily and, most importantly, engage with their whānau and friends.”

Welcoming the move Northern Cochlear Implant Programme chief executive Lee Schoushkoff says the annual funding increase will help to ensure the waiting list doesn’t continue to increase beyond demand while providing certainty to hundreds of New Zealanders who have waited years for a cochlear implant – without any guarantee, they would receive one. “We are extremely relieved that the Government has listened to our calls for action, and prioritised adult cochlear implant funding,” says Lee. “Until today’s announcement, many on the waiting list faced the prospect of never hearing again. They now have an opportunity to not only have their hearing restored but to re-enter the workforce and excel in their chosen fields. For others, it means hearing their children and families again, participating in society and leaving a life of isolation. Their lives no longer remain on hold.”

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