Leaders agree to go deaf for day

Last updated 05:00 26/07/2013
ATEED Deaf
DEAF FOR A DAY: Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) chief executive Brett O'Riley is among high profile leaders who have signed up for the Silent Leadership Challenge for The National Foundation for the Deaf.

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Influential leaders from around New Zealand are going deaf for a day to raise awareness around hearing impairment.

Twenty Aucklanders are among 42 high profile leaders who have signed up for the Silent Leadership Challenge on August 2.

All participants will tackle three communication challenges in their workplace and one at home while wearing bright yellow hearing protectors to simulate deafness.

Some of the leaders include Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) chief executive Brett O'Riley, NZ Lotto chief executive Wayne Pickup and Professor Peter Thorne, Professor of Audiology at The School of Population Health, University of Auckland.

Mr O'Riley was inspired to take part and raise money by The National Foundation for the Deaf‘s work on behalf of deaf and hearing impaired New Zealanders.

"Both my grandfather and father had their hearing impaired in the workplace during their lifetimes and the more people that know about The National Foundation for the Deaf, the greater their impact will be," he says.

So far more than $23,000 has been raised and the foundation wants others to get involved to meet their target of $100,000 in donations.

Money raised will go towards the foundation to fund its advocacy and support work on behalf of deaf and hearing impaired New Zealanders, and its work to raise awareness of the need to prevent noise-induced earing loss.

"We are absolutely delighted with the tremendous support to-date from a diverse range of leaders throughout New Zealand," foundation chief executive Louise Carroll says.

"But we'd love to see many more corporate and community leaders on board."

To join the challenge, leaders need to register online at silentleadership challenge.com and aim to raise funds by seeking sponsorship donations.

On the day of the challenge participants will be posting photos and personal stories on the foundation's Facebook and Twitter pages using the hash tag #silentleadership challenge.

Registrations close on Wednesday at 5pm.

Go to silentleadership challenge.com for more information.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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