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Phonak and Marvel's Iron Man Team Up to Reduce Childhood Stigma of Hearing Aids


2/26/2013 9:35:31 AM

WARRENVILLE, Ill., Feb. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Phonak has announced a unique partnership with Marvel Custom Solutions to produce an educational poster geared for children which highlights the positive benefits of hearing aid technology in support of an enhanced quality of life among those with hearing loss.

Phonak was inspired by a story about five year-old Phonak hearing aid wearer, Anthony Smith from New Hampshire, who told his mother that he did not want to wear his hearing aid to school because "Super Heroes don't wear hearing aids." A request from Anthony's mother resulted in Marvel creating a specially designed Super Hero whose hearing aids give him Super Hero ability to hear others in need of help.

"It was a great story about how Marvel came to the rescue to reinforce a child's belief in Super Heroes and in the process belief in himself to overcome the challenge of wearing hearing aids," said Phonak President Jeff Newnham. "Given that Phonak's purpose is to enrich the lives of the hearing impaired, we used Marvel's ingenuity as our motivation to create an inspirational message for the greater population of children with hearing loss."

The poster designed to be displayed on kids' bedroom walls - features the hugely popular Armored Avenger known as Iron Man, and is currently being distributed to pediatric hearing practices throughout the country via Phonak. One special poster has been reserved for Anthony as thanks for sharing his inspiring story. Iron Man will be making a special appearance today at the Center for Hearing and Communication in New York City to present the poster to Anthony and his family.

"Anthony's story reminded us that everyone, despite of or even because of their challenges, can be an inspiration to others," said Marvel Custom Solutions Editor Bill Rosemann. "It was our honor to work with writer Christos Gage and artist Paco Medina to create this exciting and educational poster that we hope will help spread the word that everyone deserves to be treated with respect, and that we all have the capability to unleash the hero within."

When asked what he thought of Phonak's gesture, Anthony replied, "GREAT! I can't wait to put it on my wall with all of my Super Heroes!"

Other children from the Center for Hearing and Communication in NYC will also be in attendance and an Iron Man poster will be given to each young guest.

"The poster that was created as part of the partnership between Phonak and Marvel Custom Solutions will be helpful in removing the stigma associated with children wearing hearing aids," said Laurie Hanin, Ph.D., CCC-A, Executive Director of the Center for Hearing and Communication. "We feel honored to be part of such a special event celebrating an exceptional young man."

About Marvel Entertainment
Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit marvel.com.

About Phonak
Headquartered near Zurich, Switzerland, Phonak, a member of Sonova Group, has developed, produced and globally distributed state-of-the-art hearing systems and wireless devices for more than 60 years. The combination of expertise in hearing technology, mastery in acoustics and strong cooperation with hearing care professionals allows Phonak to significantly improve people's hearing ability and speech understanding and therefore their quality of life.

Phonak offers a complete range of digital hearing instruments, along with complementary wireless communication systems. With a worldwide presence, Phonak drives innovation and sets new industry benchmarks regarding miniaturization and performance.

About the Center for Hearing and Communication
Founded in 1910, the Center for Hearing and Communication (CHC) provides life-affirming clinical services for people of all ages with hearing loss as well as children with listening and learning challenges. CHC's Acclaimed pediatric programs include hearing evaluation and hearing aid fitting; auditory-oral therapy; and the evaluation and treatment of auditory processing disorder (APD) and other listening challenges. Visit www.CHChearing.org to learn more.

SOURCE Phonak



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