Foundation Awards $10 Million to Establish Ida Institute

By Sharmi Albrechtsen

William Demant and Wife Ida Emilie Foundation announced that it has designated a grant of $10 million to establish an independent educational institute to support hearing care professionals. The Ida Institute, named in honor of Ida Emilie Demant, will assist hearing care professionals in helping hearing impaired people address the physical, psychological and social challenges of hearing loss.

“The Ida Institute will work through a process of professional collaboration to support new angles of inquiry on hearing loss and its impact,” stated Lise Lotte Bundesen, director of the new institute. “The Ida Institute will serve as a catalyst for knowledge sharing and the development of innovative and practical tools that will be shared freely.”

The Ida Institute will look at the process people with hearing loss experience from the realization of possible hearing loss to acceptance to finding the right solution and learning to live a full life with their hearing impairment. Bundesen noted, “We will consider the many physical, psychological and social barriers an individual encounters on this ‘patient journey’ and develop new tools, guidelines and recommendations to enable hearing care professionals to provide better patient care and counsel.”

The William Demant and Wife Ida Emilie Foundation statutes mandate that income, which is derived through its ownership of the majority of shares in William Demant Holding, be used to support the needs of hearing-impaired individuals and organizations.

The Foundation is also known as the Oticon Foundation. In accordance with Foundation directives, the Ida Institute will not represent any commercial or company interests but will focus on topics and areas of study that deliver maximum benefit for hearing professionals and the field of hearing care as a whole.

“It is important to point out that the Institute is an independent, collaborative educational forum,” explained Bundesen. “We will engage experts in diverse disciplines and from a variety of organizations, including academia and industry. The Foundation grant gives us tremendous freedom to engage the experts needed – whatever their affiliation -- to truly assist hearing professionals in serving people with hearing loss.”