Over the weekend on World Hearing Day, Johannesburg-based Studio 05 Institute of Fashion, a fashion education and training institution that also offers specialist programmes to the hearing impaired, hosted a hearing awareness event on their campus in collaboration with mHealth hearing app hearZA.

As part of the event, Studio 05 opened its doors to high school students from St Vincent and Sizwile School for the Deaf and invited hearZA to come and conduct hearing tests on the invited students as well on Studio 05 students and staff. According to Studio 05, the day was successful because it was fun, educational and informative.

A total of 27 students and employees had their hearing tested via the hearZA app. The app, which was developed by the hearX Group, is available for free for both iOS and Android devices and can test the user’s hearing accurately within three minutes.

The majority of Studio 05 staff and students were intrigued when introduced to the hearZA app. “I wasn’t even aware that hearing was a global medical epidemic that threatens billions of people. It was a surprise to me when the school announced we were doing ear tests. This innovation made me realise the importance of constantly doing check-ups to prevent future hearing loss,” said a student designer after an educational talk conducted by the hearZA team on Studio 05’s campus.

In addition to the hearing testing, St Vincent and Sizwile School for the Deaf students and teachers alongside Studio 05 hearing impaired and second year students, socialised and engaged in fun and educational activities such as a mannequin dress up competition and various fashion illustration exercises.

“I initiated Studio 05 with a purpose – a purpose to make a difference in the lives of our youth within the black community. This event is one of the many ways in which we try to achieve this, aside from the various other initiatives we have in place,” said Founder and CEO of Studio 05, Cecilia Mungofa.

“The event was intended to create awareness amongst our students and employees and in turn drive involvement in uplifting the livelihoods of people living with hearing impairment. It was also a way to make them aware of issues around disabilities that negatively impact our youth. I would like to thank everyone who was a part of this initiative including our partners, hearZA who conducted the hearing tests, Channel Africa for the radio interview, our students for participating and getting involved and a special thanks to the guest students and teachers from St Vincent and Sizwile School for the Deaf for being a part of this campaign. It is because of these partnerships that we had a successful outcome,” concluded Mungofa.

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