Celebrating World Hearing Day 2022

At Captionmax, we focus on meeting the accessibility needs of those in the D/deaf and hard of hearing communities via closed captions and more. This year, we’re taking that a step further by highlighting an important day for people of all hearing abilities across the globe: World Hearing Day. 

The History of World Hearing Day 

World Hearing Day is an annual observance started by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2007. It is held on March 3rd each year due to the date of 3-3’s resemblance to a pair of ears (Clark 2017). Originally known as International Ear Care Day, the WHO renamed to World Hearing Day in 2016. The day is focused on promoting awareness of ear and hearing care as well as the prevention of hearing loss and deafness. 

To Hear For Life, Listen With Care 

Each year, the WHO focuses on a different theme for World Hearing Day. 2022’s theme is “To hear for life, listen with care,” which is geared towards preventing hearing loss via safe listening. The WHO shared four key messages supporting this theme: 

  • It is possible to maintain good hearing across a lifespan through ear and hearing care​.
  • Many common causes of hearing loss are preventable, including hearing loss caused by exposure to loud sounds​. 
  • Safe listening can mitigate the risk of hearing loss associated with recreational sound exposure. 
  • The WHO calls upon governments, industries, and people everywhere to raise awareness for and implement evidence-based standards that promote safe listening. 

This year also marks the release of supplementary materials for further reference including a global standard for safe listening at entertainment venues, the #safelistening handbook

How to Celebrate

Bringing awareness to World Hearing Day is key to supporting ear and hearing care worldwide. Here are some additional ways you can support the WHO’s mission every March 3rd

Donate or volunteer at organizations that work towards D/deaf and hard of hearing initiatives 

Nonprofits and D/deaf schools across the world can always use additional support to better their research and educational programs. Not sure where to start? Think locally. Captionmax is proud to support our local Metro Deaf School in St. Paul, Minnesota. Research D/deaf schools in your area and reach out directly to see how you can help. 

Turn down the volume 

Whether it’s your computer, TV, phone, or music player of choice, turn your volume down. Check out the WHO’s helpful Q&A on safe listening here

If you’re at a loud event venue, wear earplugs. Some major cities mandate music venues offer free earplugs to patrons, but this is not guaranteed everywhere. Keep simple foam earplugs with you at all times; that way, you’ll always be prepared to protect your ears! 

Turn on your closed captions 

Hit the mute button and watch TV with captions or SDH only to gain a better idea of how D/deaf and hard of hearing communities experience media. Then check out our article on Captions vs Subtitles and 608 and 708 Captions to learn more about how closed captions work. 

Learn something new 

Sign up for ASL courses to learn a new language so that you can better support and communicate with the D/deaf and hard of hearing community. Many introductory level courses are online-based and free! 

Take a hearing test 

Many hearing problems go undiagnosed or unnoticed until it’s too late due to their often gradual nature. Early prevention is key to optimal hearing health. Contact a physician or a qualified hearing care professional to do a wellness check and keep your ears safe. 

Spread the message 

Share how you’re celebrating the day and use the hashtags #safelistening, #worldhearingday, and #hearingcare to connect with people worldwide to bring as much awareness as possible to World Hearing Day.