One in six New Zealanders lives with some type of hearing loss. We all know someone who lives with and manages the impact of not being able to hear, and the subsequent communication difficulties that arise with the invisibility of deafness.
In seven days’ time, on 1 August 2014, scores of top CEO’s and community leaders from around New Zealand will take part in this year’s Silent Leadership Challenge. Senior politicians from all major political parties and corporate leaders from 2 Degrees, Westpac Bank, Fairfax Media, Progressive Enterprises, to name but a few, are all taking part to raise awareness and funds to provide support for people with hearing impairment in our communities.
‘It’s a chance for me to put myself in others’ shoes and to experience the loss of something that I take for granted every day’, says Airways New Zealand CEO Ed Sims. ‘I’m very pleased to be making a small contribution to improve understanding and to raise funds.’
'I have friends who are both hearing impaired and deaf,’ explains Melissa Lee, National Party MP. ‘This event gives me an opportunity to experience just a little of what their world is like.'
The challenge requires participants to undergo three challenging communication tasks in the workplace and one at home, wearing bright yellow hearing protectors to simulate deafness. The challenges will include communicating and participating in one to one meetings in the workplace and watching television at home without using captioning, whilst wearing the provided ear protectors.
Fundraising is already in full swing and in friendly competition, the leader board shows who is topping the fundraising chart and by how much. Jump online and see who is involved and who you’d like to support. All funds raised go towards the invaluable work of The National Deaf Foundation, creating a world of difference for New Zealand.
The Silent Leadership Challenge is about much more than money. Did you know it is estimated that one in four people will have some type of hearing loss by 2050? High-profile participants become beacons in their communities and workplaces, representing a step towards challenging attitudes towards hearing loss.
It’s not too late to register -- New Zealand leaders are still needed to take part in this inspiring Challenge, 'We need you to help us lead urgently-needed social change,’ says The National Foundation for the Deaf CEO, Louise Carroll, who is also participating. ‘The Silent Leadership Challenge participants will be creating a world of difference for the future of New Zealanders with hearing loss.'
Come on board and give generously – this is a cause that affects all of us in one way or another.
To donate to the Silent Leadership Challenge:
To register as a participant for the Silent Leadership Challenge:
With special thanks to the support from Rhema Media.