Global children’s contest launched on World Inventors Day to raise awareness of hearing loss and the benefits of treatment
November 09, 2020
- (Innsbruck, Austria) – MED-EL, a leading provider and inventor of hearing implant systems, today launched its annual worldwide search for inventions of the future through a global children’s contest, ideas4ears
The contest invites children aged 6-12 years old to create an invention to improve the quality of life for people with hearing loss. Entries can be sent via a video, drawing, or sculpture, but the most important factor is for young people to think big and channel their ideas to support those who cannot hear.
Due to the COVID-19 situation worldwide, the ideas4ears contest this year is focusing on children who are currently doing home-schooling and the parents who are supporting them. As well as those who are social distancing from people outside of their household. The contest is a great opportunity to participate in a fun and educational activity the whole family can do together while at home.
The brains behind the ideas4ears contest and the Head Judge of the inventions is Geoffrey Ball. Geoffrey became deaf as a toddler and then went on to invent a revolutionary middle ear implant to treat his own hearing loss.
“Often the challenging times in life spur on the greatest creativity and innovations. The pandemic has shown how important communication is to function in everyday life. It is even more critical during times such as these to support people with hearing loss and help those who may have trouble keeping connected in their communities,” said Geoffrey Ball, Chief Technical Officer at MED-EL and inventor of the VIBRANT SOUNDBRIDGE middle ear implant.
As of today, Geoffrey is an inventor with over 100 patents to his name and now he is sharing his knowledge to give back to the younger generation. He aims to inspire children all around the world to believe in themselves and use their experiences with deafness to help other youngsters just like them.
“Children should see their deafness as their superpower! Being deaf as a kid gives you many powers; the ability to have empathy for others, to become adaptable, and to find creative solutions to everyday problems when you live in an environment that is not set up for those with hearing loss. The challenge is officially on! I’m especially looking forward to seeing the ingenuity of the inventors this year,” said Geoffrey.
The contest celebrates children’s creativity and aims to improve understanding of the challenges associated with hearing loss and deafness as well as the benefits of treatment. Parents interested should visit www.ideas4ears.org/enter
to submit their child’s entry. The closing date for entries is midnight on Sunday 17 January 2021.
Win fabulous prizes!
The finalists and grand prize winners of ideas4ears will be in the running to win educational resources to support their learning while home-schooling. There’s a chance to win notebooks, tablets, and special prize packs.
All ideas are welcome, from the crazy to the conventional; the only criteria are the inventions need to have the potential to help improve the lives of people with hearing loss at any age.
About hearing loss
Over 5% of the world’s population – or 466 million people – has disabling hearing loss (432 million adults and 34 million children) 1. It is estimated that by 2050 over 900 million people – or one in every ten people – will have disabling hearing loss. The World Health Organization recommends a range of interventions to improve communication once hearing loss has occurred, including hearing implants.1
About Geoffrey Ball - ideas4ears Head Judge and Inventor of the VIBRANT SOUNDBRIDGE
Geoffrey Ball's extraordinary adventure in technology began in the legendary Silicon Valley of California and ultimately led him to the mountains of Austria, where he now lives and continues his work. Even as a child, Ball knew that sign language, conventional hearing aids, and lipreading were not for him, so he decided to find a cure for his deafness. Never letting his disability stand in his way, he became a kind of modern Renaissance man with wide-ranging interests and abilities, all coupled with an undeniable talent for entrepreneurship and invention.
MED-EL Medical Electronics, a leader in implantable hearing solutions, is driven by a mission to overcome hearing loss as a barrier to communication. The Austrian-based, privately owned business was co-founded by industry pioneers Ingeborg and Erwin Hochmair, whose ground-breaking research led to the development of the world’s first micro-electronic multi-channel cochlear implant (CI), which was successfully implanted in 1977 and was the basis for what is known as the modern CI today. This laid the foundation for the successful growth of the company in 1990, when they hired their first employees. To date, MED-EL has grown to more than 2,200 employees from around 75 nations and has 30 locations worldwide.
The company offers the widest range of implantable and non-implantable solutions to treat all types of hearing loss, enabling people in 124 countries enjoy the gift of hearing with the help of a MED-EL device. MED-EL’s hearing solutions include cochlear and middle ear implant systems, a combined Electric Acoustic Stimulation hearing implant system, auditory brainstem implants as well as surgical and non-surgical bone conduction devices. www.medel.com
Doz. DI Dr DDr med. h.c. Ingeborg Hochmair
MED-EL Medical Electronics
T: +43 5 7788-1029
1 www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/deafness-and-hearing-loss (last accessed October 2020)