Active Communication Education: A Program for Older People with Hearing Impairment


Active Communication Education (ACE) is a group training program designed to help people over the age of 50 with hearing impairment to become more effective communicators in everyday life.

Written for health professionals such as audiologists, speech & language therapists and nurses working in the community, this step-by-step program offers guidance and strategies that will help to:

· Improve the person's communication abilities
· Reduce the hearing difficulties experienced
· Improve the person's quality of life.

The small-group program is divided into a series of six modules based on everyday communication activities known to be problematic for older people with hearing impairments.

These include using the telephone, listening to the television, going to a restaurant and conversing at mealtimes. Family and friends are also encouraged to attend.

Each module includes handouts that cover:
· A detailed discussion of the communication activity
· Possible solutions
· Practical exercises
· Home exercises
· Feedback on what has been covered

Successfully trialled as part of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grant in Brisbane, Australia, health professionals will find that ACE is a valuable rehabilitation option for older people, resulting in fewer communication difficulties, reduced social isolation and an improved quality of life and well-being.


Louise Hickson, Linda Worrall, Nerina Scarinci


Hickson, L., Worrall, L., & Scarinci, N. (2007). Active Communication Education (ACE): A program for older people with hearing impairment. London: Speechmark.