It might be difficult for people with normal hearing to imagine a life of complete silence. However, in New Zealand, they have found an alternative way to increase awareness of hearing impairment and deafness among hearing people.
The National Foundation for the Deaf in New Zealand have challenged corporate and community leaders to go deaf for a day on August 1st, 2014.
The aim is to get over 100 company CEOs to participate and set an example. By participating, the leaders hope to change the workplace attitudes to hearing loss prevention and increase workplace empathy for hearing impaired staff and customers.
All the participants in the Silent Leadership Challenge will be provided with bright yellow hearing protectors to simulate deafness. The challenge consists of three communication challenges in the workplace and one at home.
At work, the participants are challenged to complete a one-on-one meeting, a team meeting and a social get-together while wearing the hearing protectors. At home, the challenge is to watch TV.
Beside the protectors, The National Foundation will provide key information about the four challenges and other valuable instructions.
How to participate
To take part in the challenge on Friday August 1st, 2014, leaders need to register online at www.silentleadershipchallenge.com. It is possible to enter as an individual or as a team.
The concept to challenge leaders in New Zealand to go deaf for a day in order to increase awareness of hearing impairment could be an inspiration for similar events in other countries.
According to The National Foundation for the Deaf, one-in-six New Zealanders suffer from some type of hearing loss.