Dr Richard Seewald and
Dr Maria Angelina Nardi de Souza Martinez, director of APADAS

The Richard Seewald Award, funded by the Hear the World Foundation, has been given to the Sorocaba Association for Hearing Impaired in São Paulo as its first recipient. As part of the honor, the Sorocaba Association will receive a $20,000 endowment from the foundation.

The Sorocaba Association is an independent Brazilian nonprofit organization that conducts research about hearing loss among children, and offers medical care—ranging from prevention, to diagnosis, to treatment of hearing loss in infants and children in a catchment area with more than 2.5 million residents. The organization plans to use the award money to construct a new treatment center.

“Prof Seewald has chosen a very inspiring project for his award. We were impressed by the meaningful work that the Sorocaba Association for Hearing Impaired is doing with children in Brazil” says Valentin Chapero, CEO of Stäfa, Switzerland-based Phonak and Hear the World Foundation board member. “Hear the World is a global initiative by a global company. We are continually impressed by the good works we see different groups conducting around the world, and the Sorocaba Association for Hearing Impaired is a wonderful example of how we can positively impact those with hearing loss.”

From left to right: Pedro Stern, GC manager Phonak Brazil; Dr Martinez;  Dr Seewald; Diana Laurnagaray, audiologist and pediatric fitting specialist from Argentina

The Richard Seewald Award was named after Dr Richard Seewald, who is distinguished by his decades of tireless commitment to child audiology. He contributed to the development of the Desired Sensation Level (DSL) method, a process for fitting hearing devices for children. Additionally, he manages the research department of the National Center for Audiology in London, Ontario, Canada, and is the chairman of Canada Research in Childhood Hearing, and a member of the Hear the World Foundation Board.

Hear the World, a global initiative by hearing-device manufacturer Phonak, whose US headquarters is in Warrenville, Ill, was created to raise awareness about the importance of hearing. The initiative calls attention to the social and emotional impact of hearing loss and addresses prevention of and solutions to a problem that affects more than 10% of the world’s population. In the context of the Hear the World initiative, Phonak has established the nonprofit Hear the World Foundation to improve the quality of life of people with hearing loss through financial and technical assistance. The foundation is committed to the prevention of hearing loss as well as the support of people with hearing loss and their families.