The Hearing House was established in 1998 by a group of parents, professionals and surgeons. They were concerned that children who had received cochlear implants were not developing the listening and speaking skills they were capable of.
They had a vision to develop a centre to enable deaf children to listen and speak.
After much research, they decided the best way to achieve this was to provide Auditory-Verbal Therapy. Thanks to the support of various groups and individuals, the Campbell Rd premises in Greenlane, Auckland was purchased and The Hearing House was established. Auditory-Verbal Therapy was provided free of charge to six deaf children and their families.
The experience of similar international centres showed that a preschool for deaf and hearing children supported a deaf child’s transition to mainstream school. As such, The Hearing House Preschool, next door to The Hearing House, was opened in December 2000 by Prime Minister Rt Hon. Helen Clark.
In 2008 audiology services were added to create a one-stop-shop for families and to allow the therapist and audiologist to work together.
The number of children coming to The Hearing House was growing – thanks in part to the introduction of the Newborn Hearing Screening programme – and it wasn’t long before The Hearing House was bursting at the seams. The audiology team moved to the Greenlane Clinical Centre and staff that remained at the Campbell Rd site were forced to use the double garage on the property as a board room.
As a result of this extensive growth, the board made a decision in 2012 to expand and redevelop the premises as the existing facilities were not catering to the growing demand.
Two neighbouring properties were purchased to allow this to happen and construction of The Stichbury Bidwill Centre began in July 2016 and was completed in December 2017.
As part of the $8.2 million redevelopment project, the preschool was relocated to the rear of the property. It was renamed the Joyce Fisher Preschool and opened in 2015.
Expanding the facility also meant that The Hearing House would be able to provide life-long services by helping adults who need or have a cochlear implant. Welcoming 500 adults to The Hearing House in January 2018 was the result of a partnership with the University of Auckland, which previously ran the adult programme via its Department of Audiology. The partnership between the university and The Hearing House meant that the adults and four staff members from the university would become part of The Hearing House. Public and private adult clients now benefit from The Hearing House audiology and rehabilitation services that are all under the one roof.