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Elliot Miller has been deaf in both ears all his life. In 2013 he received a cochlear implant at Mater which proved to be a life changing experience exposing him to a whole new world of sound.
As Elliot discovered, recognising everyday sounds, such as the sound of breathing, keys typing on a keyboard or a clock ticking, can be challenging to identify when you haven’t heard them before. He realised that it was not enough just to be able to hear—he needed to identify sound to be able to get by.
With a gaming and design background Elliot began constructing a digital app which incorporated gamification into auditory training making it fun and engaging.
“Originally I created this app for myself to learn at my own pace in a comfortable environment, but I then presented this to my speech pathologist and she said this app could be used to help other people too, alleviating the stress and uncertainty of the noisy world,” he said.
Mater Speech Pathologist Amanda Lyons from the Mater Audiology Clinic said the app is revolutionary as it allows people to practice learning sounds at home independently.
“Prior to computerised auditory training a patient and clinician would have to sit down face-to-face and work through different sounds together,” she said.
“This app will allow people with hearing loss to practice at home independently which will ultimately mean they can learn at a faster pace as they reach their personal goals.”
Elliot has been awarded a Sunsuper Dreams for a Better World, business grant to grow and develop his app allowing him to help more people.
“I’m excited about the potential to help people with cochlear implants. I would like to focus on regional areas and telehealth for those with hearing loss allowing people to be more confident,” he said.
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