“Significant Hearing Loss” for Aboriginal Inmates in NT Correctional Facilities

(Photo courtesy of Phoenix Consulting)

A recent study has found 9 in 10 Aboriginal inmates in Northern Territory correctional facilities suffer significant hearing loss.

The study, conducted by researchers Dr Damien Howard and Troy Vanderpoll, tested the hearing of 134 Aboriginal inmates aged between 20 and 60 in Darwin and Alice Springs…and found 94 per cent of those tested had “significant hearing loss”.

Dr Damien Howard, a PhD psychologist specialising in the impacts of Indigenous
hearing loss, says it is a very important issue in the lives of Aboriginal
people in many ways…And there are not enough support services available to help
people cope with those disadvantages related to hearing loss.

He spoke to Nerida Currey on Strong Voices.

Dr Howard told CAAMA Radio the findings really point a finger at hearing loss
being a contributing factor to the involvement of Aboriginal people  in the criminal justice system…through factors associated with hearing loss including isolation, social difficulties, and the sense of not belonging  which can lead to anti-social behaviour.