If your child is Deaf or has hearing loss, equipment like hearing aids or cochlear implants can support them to communicate with others and help them with general safety. Find out what equipment is available and what is funded by Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People.
Hearing aids funded by our Ministry are for pre-schoolers and children at school, or young people up to 21 years of age if they are in full time education. Most children's hearing aids are fitted through the public hospital system. Some private audiology clinics also fit them, but you may need to pay for this service.
Batteries, maintenance and repairs of hearing aids for children are provided free of charge by Ko Taku Reo - Deaf Education New Zealand external URL .
Get funding for hearing aids
If you want to get some funding assistance from the Ministry towards the cost of hearing aids for your child or young person, they must have their assessment and recommendation for the hearing aids undertaken by an audiologist who is a member of the New Zealand Audiological Society external URL . They can have their assessment with an audiologist working at a local hospital or in private practice. If you visit a private audiologist with your child, you will have to pay for this assessment and any fitting costs.
The audiologist completes an assessment of a child’s needs, and may recommend hearing aids and/or other hearing or alerting equipment. If a child needs hearing aids, the audiologist can make an application to Enable New Zealand external URL for funding assistance.
Enable New Zealand is the organisation that receives applications for hearing devices from audiologists, and checks these to ensure the audiologist has considered the different options available. This is so any equipment a child receives is suitable and the best for them.
For more information on funding, get the Guide to Getting Hearing Aids external URL on the Ministry of Health website.
Replacement hearing aids
Funding for hearing aids for children under 16 years (or young people up to 21 years if they are in full time study) is available no more than three times in a six-year period.
Replacement hearing aids are only available when a child's current hearing aids can no longer be repaired or modified to meet their changed needs and a replacement is the only viable option.
Remote microphone (RM) systems
For children with hearing aids, a personal RM system may be helpful. This is a device that transmits sound to a child through a receiver attached to a hearing aid and is often used to help hearing impaired children hear the teacher in a classroom.
The Ministry of Education may be able to fund a personal RM system for school-age children. Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People may also fund personal RM systems for pre-schoolers.
For more information, contact:
- Special Education at the Ministry of Education:
- the audiology clinic at your local hospital.
If hearing aids are unable to help, your child or young person may be eligible for a cochlear implant funded by the Ministry. A cochlear implant provides a sense of sound for people who are severely hard of hearing or profoundly deaf. Around 166 cochlear implants are provided each year through the Ministry's cochlear implant programme.