Did you hear about the exciting announcement from Apple® about plans to release a cochlear implant Memoji feature later this year? The move means that if you have a cochlear implant and use Apple products, you’ll be able to create a Memoji that has a cochlear implant for you to share in digital messages and FaceTime®. Memojis are Apple’s version of emoji characters designed for use in electronic messages to help you visually describe your personality and key physical features that are special or defining to you. They are also a way of visually describing your feelings or mood.
Building Awareness for Cochlear Implants
As well as providing a fun new way for recipients to visually represent themselves in digital messages, Cochlear welcomes the move by Apple1 as an important step to help build awareness and normalize the role cochlear implants play in treating severe to profound hearing loss.
“The Apple Memoji is an important stepping-stone in raising recognition and awareness of cochlear implants around the world,” says Julie Ligeti, Director of Global Public Advocacy for Cochlear.
Cochlear works with partners to build awareness, promote inclusion and improve community-wide knowledge about hearing loss and the life-changing role of cochlear implants for many, says Julie.
“Everyone with an Apple iPhone® will have the Memoji, and the scale of Apple’s reach is massive,” she says.
“However, the next and bigger challenge is to make sure that communities not only recognize that the Memoji has a cochlear implant, but they also understand what cochlear implants can do to transform the lives of people with severe to profound hearing loss.”
“While we are on the right pathway to awareness of cochlear implants the Memoji helps, we will only achieve ‘normal’ when cochlear implants are both recognized and understood.”
Julie adds that raising awareness of cochlear implants in our communities is also crucial because a lack of awareness means people who could benefit from appropriate treatment for their hearing loss may miss out.
Cochlear is working with partners around the world to address under-recognition of the effectiveness of hearing implants and on improving access for those who could benefit.
So What Can You Do?
If you use Apple products and have a cochlear implant, create your own Memoji when it becomes available later this year and share through your messaging channels.
“Public advocacy, the consumer voice and voices of families and loved ones can makes a huge and positive difference. The proposal for the Memoji has the support of many consumer advocacy organizations and has been especially championed by Euro-CIU for some years,” says Julie. Euro-CIU is a European region Cochlear Implant User and User family advocacy organization that has member advocacy organizations across Europe.
“Advocacy can help individuals gain better access to care and support and it can help wider society to learn and understand the needs of people with hearing loss. The views of communities can help to persuade policy makers to make better policies.”
Read about celebrities that are helping raise awareness of the World Report on Hearing.
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