Stepping out of Silence

This is the second time we write about people with impaired hearing: the first blog actually dealt with the start, or better to say, with the general idea of the project that came alive today. Each of you can now download the application on your mobile phone (smartphone or android) – „Deaf friendly tourism“ by Epoca 360° and you will then be part of the story. It is still a brand new application and more participants are expected to join in. However, there are already stories about tourist attractions, historical places, restaurants, hotels, bars in and around one small Istrian town – Novigrad. The agency Epoca 360° from Novigrad initiated the whole project which recently gained additional support from a number of regional and national authorities, as well as specialists that enabled the technical development of the project.

During today’s presentations, which helped us understand the world of deaf people better, and which were at the same time very informative, emotional and fun, the audience became enthusiastic and more interested in taking part in the project. The IT and marketing specialists that support the Deaf friendly application are keen to start expanding and promoting it amongst people in the countries and markets that are interested in visiting Istria and Croatia as tourists, not just during the summer but all year around. The project participants expect and hope that the hard of hearing community, which is very keen on socializing, enjoy travelling, as well as being active, will welcome this new tool.

The World Health Organization (WHO) now estimates that 455 million people worldwide experience hearing loss, up from the previous estimate of 360 million people. The increase is due to a increasingly ageing population, noise exposure, complications from ear and vaccine-preventable infections like measles, mumps and rubella and from certain medicines. By the year 2050, some 900 million people could be experiencing disabling hearing loss.

Many countries still have to do their homework regarding increasing accessibility to the hard of hearing community. Bbut, by this small step, Croatia has got closer to the expected standards and the awareness of the need for more action has been initiated.

Wellbe supports the project by sharing information and open to organize rehabilitation or other health related holidays for people with impaired hearing by working closely with our Istrian partners and with the Deaf friendly tourism project participants.

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