Plšcido Domingo, Vienna Philharmonic Help Launch 'Hear the World Foundation'

Classic Arts News   Plšcido Domingo, Vienna Philharmonic Help Launch 'Hear the World Foundation'
Tenor/conductor/administrator Plšcido Domingo, the Vienna Philharmonic and the Swiss hearing-device manufacturer Phonak have joined forces to raise awareness about hearing loss and help the hearing-impaired in poor countries, the Associated Press reports.

"Music is my emotional need. I therefore feel sad for anyone who cannot hear music," the tenor told the AP. "Science has made incredible strides in helping people with hearing trouble, but the majority of the world's population is still unaware of this fact."

The Zurich-based Hear the World Foundation, which launches its activities in January, will undertake initiatives as varied as supplying hearing aids to children in Guatemala and South Africa, testing young people for hearing loss in remote parts of Fiji, and providing hearing exams to senior citizens in China, India and South America, according to the AP.

The foundation will also try to combat the stigma associated with using hearing-enhancing devices. "Let's consider the difference between seeing trouble and hearing trouble," Domingo told the AP. "No one gives a second thought to wearing glasses in order to improve sight, but too many people would rather ask five times, 'What did you say?' than wear a hearing aid."

The AP writes that, according to the American Academy of Audiology, approximately one in ten Americans is hearing-impaired, while at least 160 million people in developing countries are affected, according to the World Health Organization.

The partnership is expected to be announced at a news conference tomorrow at Carnegie Hall.

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