A Highgate Hill man’s mission to help people with hearing loss better identify the sounds most of us take for granted could be about to receive a $10,000 boost.Elliot-Miller_1

Elliot Miller, who was diagnosed with hearing loss in both ears as a toddler, is the creator of Hearoes, an app-based interactive auditory training program that provides tailored support to people of all ages with hearing loss, specifically those who, like him, have cochlear implants.

Having launched the app in late 2016, the 30-year-old is now in the running to snare $10,000 to help take his venture to the next level courtesy of Feros Care’s Bold Bucket List Challenge.
 
The competition, which is being run by the aged care provider and disability services organisation, invites entrants to nominate a personal cause or vision, with one winner to receive $10,000 to turn their dream into reality.

 
“Having received my cochlear implant at 26, I know it’s not simply a case of ‘switching on the sound’,” Mr Miller said. 

“When being ‘switched on’ you have to completely re-learn how to hear and it can be a long and tiring process.

“I’ll always remember after my implant, I was jogging and noticed a sound I couldn’t identify and later realised it was the coins in my pocket. I could hear this noise but since I didn’t know what it was I had to constantly train my brain to understand and recognise it over a period of time.

“This became a pivotal point for me and the catalyst for Hearoes.”

Mr Miller said learning to understand and adapt to new sounds was one of the biggest challenges faced by people with hearing loss.

That’s why I was inspired to use my technical skills to create a digital auditory training platform that helps those with hearing loss better understand the sounds and words around them in a comfortable, engaging and dynamic environment, he said.

“Hearoes has been well received and winning the Bold Bucket List Challenge would allow me to expand the app to help more people living in remote regions and bridge a gap in the market for accessible auditory processing services.”
 
Hearoes is available on iOS and Android and features a range of gamified modules that allow users to play and practise identifying specific sounds, starting with environmental noise and progressing to understanding words and sentences.
 
The app also tracks people’s progress on different activities so they can spend more time on areas that require greater attention.

“My dream is to help others with hearing loss access new sounds, gain confidence and improve their wellbeing,” Mr Miller said.
 
“We’ve had wonderful feedback about the program from people with hearing loss, their families and audiologists. Everyone we speak to is enthusiastic about what we’re trying to achieve and it’s very exciting to think where this journey is going to take us – especially if my Bold Bucket List wish comes true.”

Feros Care CEO Jennene Buckley said she had been inspired by the passion of entrants in the Bold Bucket List Challenge.

As an organisation, we are committed to helping people live bold lives and this competition is giving them a chance to dream big...Like Elliot, so many of the entrants have suggested visions that would benefit other members of the community and that is incredibly touching...The hardest part for the judges will be having to only pick one winner.

For more on Hearoes here.    

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