First Voice congratulates all participants in this year’s Power of Speech, which was held at Parliament House in Canberra today.

Power of Speech is an annual public speaking event that showcases the remarkable listening and spoken language skills of children who are deaf or hearing impaired.

Twelve boys and girls from across Australia and New Zealand participated in this year’s event, presenting short speeches to an assembled audience of parliamentarians, families, friends and dignitaries. The Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, also participated in prize-giving, and congratulated the children on their inspirational achievements.

First Voice champions the right of all deaf people to listen and speak. Its member centres, located across the region, provide evidence based listening and spoken language early intervention services that turn that right into a reality.

These inspiring young speakers made it very clear today that the future for young people who are deaf or hearing impaired in Australia and New Zealand is very bright.

More than 85 per cent of babies diagnosed with deafness at birth are born to parents with normal hearing. The vast majority of these families choose for their child to listen and speak, attend mainstream schools and be part of their listening and spoken language world.

Research shows that these children go to achieve education, employment and social outcomes on par with (or in some cases better than) young people with normal hearing.

The event, which is generously sponsored and supported by Cochlear, is held annually at Parliament House in Canberra.