Title (H)EAR-POWER - HEP
Project Number 2009-1-AT1-LEO05-01203
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Marketing Text The aim of (H)EAR-POWER is, to transfer the vocational training “Skilled worker for hearing aids” into the countries of the partners. We do a transfer of Know-How with an optimal adaptation for the country-specific demands in language, items and pedagogical standards. We will also create an e-learning course in this project.
Throughout europe a lot of people suffer from different diseases and damages of hearing, from different kinds of the hardness of hearing to deafness. Unfortunately in many regions these persons cannot get the optimal support and all the possibilities for improving their situation.
According to different analyses app. 10% of the total population suffers from damages of hearing, which could be improved by hearing aids. It is a sad fact, that from these 10%, less than a quarter of the concerned persons are using a hearing aid or can get similar help. This bad situation is the result of a deficit of information about the possibilities for using hearing aids, because there are no experts for hearing aids.
For a long time in Austria exists the vocational training as skilled worker for hearing aids, which means an important improvement for hearing-impaired people, because of that, this deficit can be eliminated.
The main aim of the project (H)EAR-POWER is, to transfer the innovativ vocational training “Skilled worker for hearing aids” into the countries of the partners, to help as many hearing-impaired persons as possible for a livable future. We do not only a simple transfer of Know-How, but also an optimal adaptation for the country-specific demands in language, items, legal requirements and pedagogical standards. Therefore among other things we will create an e-learning course in this project.
Of course this aim can be carried out only with a well-chosen team at project partners. The project team consists of specialists for the following special fields: Medicine, technics, IT, project management, marketing and adult education. NEUROTH is an ideal Lead partner, who has not only developed the concept of the vocational training for the Skilled Worker for Hearing Aids, but also offers a special training in the context of the project in modern laboratories in Austria.
So all adult educational institutions of the East European partners involved should have the best possible preconditions at the end of the project, being able to train Skilled Worker for Hearing Aids also in their countries, so that all members of the large European family have the same access to an optimal support of hearing impaired people.
In the project (H)EARPOWER the vocational training “Skilled Worker for Hearing Aids” - these are persons which can help hearing impaired persons - will be transferred. So, said in simplified terms, one special course of Austria is transferred to Estonia, Romania, Slovenia and Turkey. The main emphasis is not on the simple transfer of the existing know-how, but rather in an optimal adaptation of the existing structures to country-specific demands into language, content, legal and didactic regard.
This transfer is also based on the fact that select trainers from the partner countries are trained in Austria, before they then can pass their learned knowledge and new skills on in their native countries.
Therefore objectives and tasks are:
- Check the country-specific demand and the different social insurance systems concerning the supply with hearing aids
- Adaption of the curriculum and the teaching materials to the special needs and processes of each country (language, contents and structure based on national needs).
- Making an eLearning course for the vocational training
- Planning and organize a Train-the-Trainer course for future “hearing aid acoustician-trainers” in the national vocational trainings
- Planning and organize one test training in each country of the partners
Attendant Objectives are:
- Building a network for european hearing aid acousticans
- Several dissemination activities (web-page, international conferences, etc.) during the whole project period
Utilization and distribution of results
Access for disadvantaged
Open and distance learning
Human Health and Social Work Activities
Other Service Activities
program or curricula
1. Results of the country-specific analyse:
During the first project meeting the results of the country-specific analyses to the hearing aid supply topic were discussed. To this a guided tour through the Neuroth academy and the visit to a Neuroth hearing center was carried out first, with detailed explanations and descriptions for the course of the hearing aid supply in Austria. In doing so the used equipment for hearing measurement, the software for adapting hearing aids and the equipment for making otoplastics were demonstrated.
Already at the tour got clear, that the courses of the hearing aid supply, the roles of the parties involved and the medicine-legal preconditions in the partner countries not distinguishing in a rough way.
It always needs the confirmation of a doctor and the "transfer" to a specialist for hearing aids. The specialist finds a fitting hearing aid and adjusts this to the hearing loss of the patient/customer and the social insurance of the respective country takes on a fixed amount of the costs of the hearing aid.
There are differences in details, for example the amount of the cost substitute by the social security, the duration of the waiting times or in the degree of the specification for a certain hearing aid by the ENT-doctor.
It was noticed as well that the technical tasks of the hearing aid specialist (audiometry, finding and adjusting a hearing aid, making an otoplastic) and the used equipment are not fundamentally different. As an example of it the audiometers (measuring instrument to the observation of the hearing loss) can be named. Of course measuring instruments of different manufacturers are used (like in Austria too), but the measurement procedure (performance criterion for the pure tone audiometry) is the same everywhere. The software for the individual attitude of the hearing aid is also the same everywhere.
These great similarities are the result of the engagement and the further education activities of the great, international hearing equipment manufacturers which are active also in the partner countries. The manufacturers have been suitable for the fine adjustment of the hearing aids on a uniform platform for the software and build up the possibilities for the hearing aid adjustment also in uniform measurement procedures.
2. Adaption of the course materials:
As already stated in the result for the country-specific analysis, the tasks of a hearing aid specialist in a hearing center are almost identical in all partner countries.
The core tasks are the determination of the hearing loss (audiometry), the choice of a suitable hearing aid (hearing aid technology), the ear cast for making an otoplastic und the fine adjustment of the hearing aid on the individual needs of the customer (Gain and Output Technology).
Therefore the mentioned four topics
- Hearing Aid Technology
- Gain and Output Technology
complete with the
- Introduction to the anatomy of the hearing process
were selected as training content for the national courses.
Since the used tools, measuring instruments, measurement procedures are also very similar everywhere, hardly changes were necessary in the available course materials. Nevertheless scripts were checked again for Neuroth terms, which then were removed or replaced by neutral contents.
There has one point been, however, which was left out completely. Namly the topic speech audiometry. A standardized test is used for the determination of the hearing loss for language in the German-speaking room. This test is carried out with words and numbers in German. A language test partly is worked also in the partner countries Slovenia and Estonia in respective national language, but these tests are not standardized and there are no uniform guidelines for the execution.
Therefore became decided, to leave out this topic for the basic training for a “Skilled worker for Hearing Aids”.
At first the revised course materials were translated from German in English and then provided to the partners in English to translate these into the respective national language.
The partner institutions were then asked to let check again the contents of the course materials by national specialists about tools as well as equipment for the mentioned procedures, methods, regulations and materials used.
Though no more changes have arisen from it. Quite the reverse the special possibility of having course materials finally in respective national language at the disposal was very welcomed.
3. Compilation of the Train-the-Trainer-Course
It was thought, the contents and the course for the future national courses for the education to the “Skilled Worker for Hearing Aids” were certain, in which way the trainers of these courses can be prepared at the best for it.
It was busy at the beginning taking into mind that “only” two days are available for the Train-the-Trainer-Course and that different initial preconditions of the participants should be expected. Some will bring pre-knowledge in the area of the hearing aid acoustics, some pre-knowledge as a lecturer/trainer and other perhaps even one combination from both.
Unconditional the partner institutions have to be pointed out for the search and selection of the participants on this, that these must have a good look before the Train-the-Trainer-Course with the technical contents and the course planned.
It was fixed as a target for the Train-the-Trainer-Course that the future trainers for the national courses work out a training program for the execution. To this you shall work in the course on three levels.
1. Contents level:
The process of a national course is acted out in fast motion (and strongly abbreviated), respectively an exemplary process is presented.
2. Methodical level:
Using this example not only methods for the implementation are provided, but their use checked for applicability, to be copied for the execution in the national courses when indicated.
3. Teaching/studying theoretical level:
Using the concrete examples of the combination of contents and method, the behind stationary teaching/studying theory shall be imparted.
- Organizational considerations:
As a preparation for the execution of the national courses a sample suitcase should be arranged for every future coach with materials and utilities used in the course, which can be duplicated by each partner depending on the number of participants.
4. Compilation of the eLearning-Course
For the compilation of the first module for the eLearning course the topic "Hearing Aid Technology " was selected. By the expert of the Neuroth academy the script was prepared and this then converted in an eLearning course together with the technical expert. The eLearning course is available on CD.