Hearpeers initiative by MED-EL amplifies support and inspiration for the global hearing community

Jan 17, 2024

January 17, 2024 – (Innsbruck, Austria): What do Julian from Colombia, Jessica from the UK and Olav from Norway have in common? Each of them embodies the spirit of Hearpeers, a vibrant global community of individuals who have been implanted or have close connections to those with implants, all eager to give something back to millions worldwide living in silence. On International Mentoring Day MED-EL, a global leader in implantable hearing solutions and founders of the Hearpeers network, celebrates the power of mentoring and acknowledge the contributions of volunteers like Jessica, Julian and Olav. 

  • Hearpeers community thrives, now connecting 140 volunteers worldwide
  • Individuals from 23 countries share their stories with hearing loss – their challenges, triumphs, and their pure joy of rediscovering sound after implantation
  • First Hearpeers Mentors from Latin America already actively engaged 

With around 140 volunteers known as Hearpeers Mentors, this one-of-a-kind mentoring community is dedicated to providing support and information to individuals dealing with hearing loss, parents of implanted children, and those considering treatment options such as hearing implants. What sets these Mentors apart is their personal connection to hearing loss, whether as individuals who have been implanted or as relatives and close companions of those affected, driving their passion to support others facing similar challenges. Hearpeers goes beyond community – it is a lively celebration of human connection, emphasizing support, inspiration, and belonging for those with hearing loss. The Mentors play a crucial role in breaking the stigma surrounding this invisible condition, proudly showcasing their devices. Their pride in solutions and achievements adds vibrancy to Hearpeers, offering a straightforward testament to overcoming challenges and finding belonging. Jessica, a UK-based Mentor and a cochlear implant user, shares her journey: “I want to help candidates to make sure it is a decision that they definitely want. The decision to have an operation like this is life changing. And I know how it feels.”

Real stories, real support

The Mentors are key to the Hearpeers project. Now numbering 140 across 23 countries such as Australia, Nigeria, Poland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and India, the volunteers provide valuable and free offline and online support, answering non-medical questions and offering insights at events and conferences.  
Notably, the project recently welcomed its first Mentors from Latin America. “I want to be a Mentor because I want to assist everyone who needs help and is going through difficulties or doubts, either because they are just starting to know the world of hearing loss or have been around for a while but feel lost”, says Julian from Colombia, a cochlear implant user himself. “In this way, I can help them orient themselves to what has happened in my life and help them chart a safe path.” 

Users at the core

The Hearpeers community project has evolved into a global support network and information platform where anyone can connect with experienced Mentors, seek local assistance, learn more about hearing loss, and engage with other people through the Hearpeers forum. The heart of Hearpeers is its volunteers and their user-generated experiences that light a path for people with hearing loss and their families. Olav from Norway, an implant user and Mentor, aims to empower others to make informed choices about their hearing health. “As a Mentor, I want to help those considering such an operation and consult those unsure whether it’s the right step for them. My goal is for these people to make informed and independent choices.” 

Sharing this commitment to informed decision-making, Dr Patrick D’Haese, Director of Awareness & Public Affairs at MED-EL, reflects on the broader impact of this special initiative: “With 1 in 5 people worldwide living with hearing loss, Mentors like Jessica, Julian and Olav are so important to show the world that life with hearing is possible again. The Hearpeers initiative underscores MED-EL's dedication to technological advancement and the compassionate aspect of hearing healthcare.”

Visit the Hearpeers website to explore the project and the inspiring individuals behind it. Additionally, discover guidance on recognizing signs of hearing loss.

Hearpeers Facts & Figures:

  • A global network of support in 23 countries across six continents
  • 140 Hearpeers Mentors globally, with ongoing growth
  • Founded in 2015, now entering its tenth year
  • First LATAM Hearpeers Mentors active since January 2024
  • Active online community forum providing additional support and connection


About MED-EL

MED-EL Medical Electronics, a leader in implantable hearing solutions, is driven by a mission to overcome hearing loss as a barrier to communication and quality of life. 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 more than 2,700 employees from around 80 nations and 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 136 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

Press Contact

PR & Corporate Communications
MED-EL Medical Electronics
Fürstenweg 77a
6020 Innsbruck
T: +43 5 7788
E: press@medel.com