Hear for Kids Staff Profiles
Hear for Kids is a division of Deaf Services focusing on services for Deaf and hard of hearing infants, children and adults. We sat down with four staff members with very different roles at Hear for Kids to find out more about their work and why they do it.
Mia Walsh, Occupational Therapist
What exactly is an Occupational Therapist? Mia describes her role as helping children with the things that occupy their time, whether it’s playing, eating, dressing or sleeping. At Hear for Kids, much of this work is centred on play.
“The most amazing thing to me is to see, every day, how kids can recruit their other senses when one is taken away. The way they interact with the world with touch and sight suddenly means so much more.”
Mia works with Deaf and hard of hearing children and their families to make their lives as independent as possible, and says “the sky is the limit” for what Hear for Kids can achieve in the future.
Find out more about everything Hear for Kids does here.
Erin Nicklin, Speech Language Pathologist
Erin provides assessment and therapy services to children who are Deaf or hard of hearing and have Better Start, NDIS or Private Health funding. She also provides support to families preparing for their NDIS planning meetings.
Erin especially loves supporting clients and their families in the transition from preschool to school, and supporting teachers to be more inclusive of their Deaf and hard of hearing students.
“It is fantastic to see every child able to access the curriculum at school and strive to achieve," she says.
Erin’s journey to Hear for Kids began with a sign language class at university that sparked her interest in Deaf community and culture, and has continued through her work and her ongoing Auslan certification with Deaf Services.
Find out more about accredited Auslan training here.
Sybil Stoltz, Physiotherapist
Sybil works at Yeerongpilly’s Early Childhood Development Program, as well as visiting families across Brisbane, Ipswich and Logan to provide individual assessment and therapies to Deaf and hard of hearing babies and toddlers.
She says she would love to see more physios confident in using sign language.
“Communication is such a huge part of learning how to move, so being able to use Auslan with a child whose first language is Auslan just makes my day.”
Find out more about learning Auslan here.
Brayton Lynham, Teacher of the Deaf
Brayton’s job involves travelling to schools and homes to help children and their families understand hearing loss and providing strategies to best support the child’s development.
“I try to make the sessions as fun as possible,” Brayton says. “I often include stories, games, play doh and bubbles… everyone loves bubbles!”
Brayton believes community is one of the biggest factors in providing support for Deaf and hard of hearing children, and stresses the importance of families being able to spend time with each other to provide mentoring and support.
Thanks to community support, Hear for Kids runs regular Playgroups in Brisbane and North Queensland, allowing children and their families to come together for a relaxed and informal play session with specialist staff available to help in any way they can.
Find out more about Hear for Kids services here.