Image of a doctor's hands close up, inserting a hearing aid into a patient's ear.

Conclusion

The review found that hearing-impaired people in custody are not always identified or catered for in Western Australian custodial facilities. While identification processes have improved with the introduction of the Functional Impairment Screening Tool (FIST), the number of hearing-impaired people identified by the Department remains low when compared to research on similar cohorts. The Department …

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Image of a consultant audiologist sitting at desk with hearings aids, otoscope and a cast of an ear.

Background

Around 3.6 million people in Australia experience some form of hearing loss (Department of Health and Aged Care, 2022). Hearing loss may be temporary or permanent. Loss can be experienced as part of the ageing process, may already be present at birth, or may be acquired due to an illness or exposure incident. The severity …

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Image of a t-coil induction loop used in classroom for the hearing impaired.

Key findings

Systems are in place to identify hearing impairments, but identified individuals remain low The Department has identified relatively few people in custody with a hearing impairment or disability. While processes are generally in place to identify hearing-impaired individuals, various system limitations and process breakdowns have resulted in few being identified. The introduction of a functional …

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Image of a group of four people learning sign language

Recommendations

Recommendation 1  Review the findings of the inquest into the death of Mootijah Shillingsworth and consider changes to medical induction processes to improve identification of chronic middle ear infections in at-risk populations. Recommendation 2 Review Disability Coordination Team referral processes and address feedback loop error from Health Services. Recommendation 3 Expedite development of a well-resourced …

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