Spirits were high last November as more than 550 Cochlear™ Implant Recipients and their families came together from across the UK and Europe for two major Cochlear Family events to share stories, celebrate, and learn about the latest technology on offer.
More than 400 attendees united at the National Conference Centre in Birmingham, for what the Cochlear team in the UK describes as one of their largest events to date.
The event was well received by recipients of all ages and their families as a chance to learn from each other and experts about how to get the most out of their sound processors, accessories and tips to live life to the full.
“I only upgraded to Nucleus® 7 about 10 days ago and I’m really enjoying the App and using the iPhone. But until today, I didn’t realise I could stream music,” says Margaret of the UK event.
Tracy Lawrence brought her nine-year-old daughter who has two Nucleus 6 Sound Processors: “It’s lovely for Isla and her sister to be around so many other people who have Cochlear Implants. It normalises it,” she says.
Another parent came away from the event armed with practical tips to use at home, saying “The ‘Time to Talk’ presentation made it really clear how important it is just to talk a lot to your child. Naturally then you tend to use more positive and more descriptive language.”
In the same week, the Cochlear team from Central and Eastern Europe hosted the Cochlear Family Across Borders event in Vienna, wheremore than 150 recipients and their families travelled from Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia for this inaugural multi-country meeting to celebrate music, connect with each other, and get an update on the latest True Wireless™ Technology.
In Vienna, the two-day programme kicked off with a concert featuring performances by Cochlear Implant Recipients as well as a classical concert by the Strausscapelle Orchestra of Vienna which entertained guests with classics ranging from Mozart to Strauss.
Bogdan Liashenko, a recipient from the Ukraine, played Mozart’s Fantasy in D Minor and Weronika Niczyporuk a recipient from Poland sang Rzeka Marzeń – a song about dreams coming true, which is how Weronika feels about her implant (a Cochlear Baha® System – bone conduction solution).
The whole concert was streamed live on Facebook to give the opportunity to other Cochlear Family members across the region to view this special event.
The second day was dedicated to Cochlear Family members only. This educational day was hosted in the Cochlear CEE facilities. The Cochlear CEE team offered tailored workshops to strengthen the relationship with selected Cochlear Family members, and to discuss products including Cochlear True Wireless Devices.
Meanwhile at the UK event, renowned jazz musician and Cochlear Implant Recipient Richard Reed, demonstrated through music, the early sounds heard by recipients and how they develop over time. He also gave practical advice on how to learn to listen to music, which recipients found valuable.
“Richard’s presentation was helpful about how I can start by listening to bass and percussion that I find easier and use that to work on the mid-range and treble that I find harder,” says recent bimodal recipient, Dennis Barrington-Light.
Vibrant African drumming workshops were also an event highlight and, with lots of audience participation and interactive fun, recipients were encouraged to feel the rhythm.
Both events featured practical, educational sessions to help recipients get the most out of their sounds processors, and offered workshops to improve conversation and listening skills, which were well received by attendees.
Sessions on the latest True Wireless Technology piqued a lot of interest among recipients who were keen to learn about the different wireless devices and accessories available.
Other topics of interest included the benefits of the Cochlear Wireless Phone Clip in the workplace, why Cochlear Wireless TV Streamers are a favourite family device at home, and the quality of Cochlear Wireless Mini Microphone 2+, which one woman described as like being “at the cinema” for its sound quality.
Watch the Cochlear Live! UK event video:
Watch the Cochlear Family across borders Vienna video: