The Power of Speech is back to challenge the perceptions of what children with hearing loss can achieve.
This year, it's taking place on Thursday 8 September at the Australian Parliament House in Canberra, and Auckland cochlear implant user Mattias Berndt is taking centre stage along with six other 7 and 8-year-old cochlear implant users from First Voice member organisations around Australia.
Matthias was diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss in both ears as an infant, and received cochlear implants at age two.
He loves music and the performing arts, as well as taking part in sports and other extracurricular activities with hearing friends.
During the event, Mattias and the other children will present short speeches to key policymakers around this year’s theme, ‘Connections’, proving that deafness is not a barrier to human connections and how early intervention support and cochlear implants have been helping them reach their full potential.
These inspiring children will also share with politicians how they defy commonly held misconceptions about growing up with a hearing loss.
“It gives attendees the chance to hear first-hand the integral role that the services provided by the members of First Voice play in the lives of those with hearing loss,” says Jim Hungerford, Chair of First Voice.
A special message of encouragement from MP Priyanca Radhakrishnan