PARK RIDGE, Ill, February 12, 2015 – Johns Hopkins University has fielded a community-based intervention project called “Access Hears”. The program aims to provide affordable, accessible, and effective hearing health care to minority and low-income older adults. Sound World Solutions’ products were chosen to be one of the primary devices used in supporting their efforts in this field of work.

Access HEARS is the first program of its kind to combine education, counseling, and low-cost amplification devices to provide hearing care to older adults in the community. Their efforts serve as a means of supporting continued engagement, healthy aging and includes those individuals who never before had access to care.

Today, over 26 million older Americans have hearing loss (nearly two-thirds of adults over 70) and almost 23 million go untreated. With a lack of insurance coverage for hearing aids, hearing care is inaccessible to most older adults, with an average cost of $3,000-5,000.

Access HEARS fills this gap with an affordable and accessible model that transcends cost, mobility and literacy barriers. Sound World Solutions is among the key industry contacts within the market of ear wearables that have been essential to the program, along with experts in otolaryngology, audiology, and social entrepreneurship.

Through trained community health workers, Access HEARS delivers essential education and counseling coupled with an amplification device in a 2-hour, face-to-face intervention that translates research on social engagement, minority health, and hearing technology.

With a focus on under-served older adults, Access HEARS is a novel intervention that could improve the well-being and everyday functioning of at-risk older adults by improving their ability to communicate and engage with their communities.


About Access Hears

The management team for this program is led by Drs. Carrie Nieman, Frank Lin and Mr. Kunal Parikh, who are otolaryngologists, public health researchers, and social entrepreneurs that have the necessary expertise and social justice drive to create a new model of hearing care.

About Sound World Solutions

Sound World Solutions designs, manufactures and sells premium performance consumer products that help people rediscover the power of connection, recognizing that sound and clarity are an integral part of human interaction. In 2013, the company introduced its first product based on a design platform that brings affordable functionality to millions of people who require occasional hearing assistance. Sound World Solutions also collaborates with organizations providing hearing health studies and services and on-the-ground solutions in developing markets throughout the world.