Loud Shirt Day invites Queenslanders to host their own fundraising fiestas with family, friends, or in workplace on Friday 19 October to raise money and awareness for charity Hear and Say, supporting hearing-impaired children.

The day encourages individuals to wear the loud and wacky shirts, or dress up in the funkiest, most outlandish outfit, in the name of helping kids with hearing loss. Each year, up to 180 babies are born with hearing loss, and the cost for supporting a single child is $10,000 on average. Not-for-profit Hear and Say is trying to provide this support. With therapy and access to some of the most advanced hearing technology available, children who are deaf or hard of hearing are able to learn how to listen and speak, just like their hearing peers. Hear and Say Founder Dr Dimity Dornan AO said she wants to encourage as many families, individuals, workplaces and sporting groups to get involved with Loud Shirt Day and raise the funds to support the Early Intervention programs that are so pivotal to helping these children.

Hear and Say was established in 1992 by Dr Dimity Dornan AO, 2018’s Queensland Senior Australian of the Year. It is a Queensland-wide charity that supports children and young adults through services like audiology, listening and spoken language therapy, school hearing screening, social skills programs, and physiotherapy and occupational therapy support. Combined with digital hearing aids and cochlear implants, almost 100 per cent of children who have graduated from the early intervention program in the past five years have entered into mainstream schools, with speaking levels equivalent to their hearing peers.

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