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Photo credit: © International Centre for Evidence in Disability

Disability training

Who we are

Dorothy Boggs

Research Fellow / Occupational Therapist

Rehabilitation, disability and inclusion; disability-inclusive maternal, newborn and child health and child development

Tess Bright

Research Fellow

Hearing impairment; access to health.

Morgon Banks

Assistant Professor

Social protection, disabilities, poverty, qualitative research, quantitative research

Hannah Kuper

Director of ICED

Epidemiology, access to health, impact, surveys

Shaffa Hameed

Research Fellow 

Qualitative research, disability, sexual and reproductive health and rights, policy analysis, impact evaluation

Islay Mactaggart

Assistant Professor in Disability and Global Health

Disability measurement, populationed-based survey methodology for estimating disability and impairment prevalence

Veronika Reichenberger

Research Assistant / Visual Anthropologist

Qualitative research, participatory visual research, disabilities, reproductive and sexual health, gender

Nathaniel Scherer

Research Assistant

Qualitative research, participatory visual research, disabilities, reproductive and sexual health, gender

Tom Shakespeare

Professor of disability research

Qualitative research with disabled people; access to health; livelihoods; sexual and reproductive health; mental health; user involvement.

Phil Sheppard


Disabilities; humanitarian disasters; rehabilitation; access to health

Tracey Smythe

Research Fellow / Paediatric Physiotherapist

Health worker training; physical impairment; mental health; implementation science

Jane Wilbur

Research Fellow

Qualitative research; inclusive WASH, menstrual hygiene management, behaviour change

Maria Zuurmond

Research Fellow

Qualitative research, participatory approaches, focus on children & young people with disabilities and caregivers

Sarah Polack

Associate Professor

Epidemiology, Quantitative survey methodolgies, Assessing need for health care, rehabilitation and assitive products

Andrew Smith

Honorary Professor

Promoting and teaching epidemiology, prevention, control and rehabilitation of deafness and hearing impairment.

ICED Hearing Group
ICED Hearing Group - health & education advocacy & research

The challenge

  • Hearing loss affects over 1.3 billion people worldwide of which, 360 million people have disabling hearing loss (Ref:1, 2)
  • 60% of childhood hearing loss is preventable (Ref:2)
  • 90% of people with disabling hearing loss live in low & middle income countries (Ref:3)
  • Hearing loss negatively impacts on speech and language, activities of daily living such as employment and education, economic status, mental health and quality of life (Ref:4, 5)

Our purpose

We aim to raise awareness, promote research and support education in ear and hearing health.

Who we are

Our multi-disciplinary team comprises specialist and experienced academics, clinicians, research students and centre staff. We all share a common interest in ear and hearing health.

What we do

  • Organise seminars, advocacy workshops and promotional events
  • Deliver education and training programmes
  • Provide professional guidance & support to community projects
  • Conduct research on hearing impairment prevalence, impact and access to services within low and middle income countries
  • Network and collaborate with local and internationally based professional bodies, educational institutions and NGOs

Our research

Building evidence about the prevalence of hearing impairment in low and middle income countries, including surveys of Guatemala, India and Cameroon.

Exploring barriers to accessing ear and hearing services and the provision of training for community health workers in Malawi

Assessing the impact of hearing impairment and the provision of hearing aids on socio-economic status (poverty), mental health, quality of life and activity participation in Guatemala. 

Our teaching

We run an international, classroom-based educational programme in Public Health Planning for Hearing Impairment which incorporates an online community support network for alumni.

This course aims to build capacity for public health knowledge and skills in ear and hearing health (EHH) amongst clinicians and health planners. Since 2009, we have trained 715 health workers from 41 different countries and delivered 25 programmes in 9 locations around the world including, Europe, Asia, Africa and North & South America.

The Global Disability and Health MSc Module teaches about the broader aspects of disability and includes a series of lectures and workshops on hearing impairment.

Our Journal

The free publication Community Ear and Hearing Health Journal (CEHHJ) promotes ear and hearing health in low-middle income countries, by facilitating continuing education for all levels of ear and hearing health worker. 

Our publications 

Smith, A. (2017) ‘Public Health Planning for Hearing Impairment’, ENT & Audiology News, November-December 2017, Volume 26, No. 5.

Contact us

If you have a general enquiry or wish to learn more about our work, please contact a member of our team:

Name Role Email address
Hannah Kuper Director of ICED & Professor
Andrew Smith Professor
Daksha Patel E-learning Director for International Centre for Eye Health (ICEH)
Islay Mactaggart Research Fellow
Tess Bright Audiologist & Research Assistant
Joanna Jeremy Hearing Health Administrator
Mark Spreckley Dr Public Health Research Student


1. Vos T, Allen C, Arora M, Barber RM, Bhutta ZA, Brown A, et al. (2016) Global, Regional, and National Incidence, Prevalence, and Years Lived with Disability for 310 Diseases and Injuries, 1990-2015: A Systematic Analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. Lancet. 2016;388(10053):1545–602

2. WHO. (2017) Deafness & Hearing Loss Fact Sheet, Geneva, Updated February 2017

3. Stevens. G, et al. (2011) Global and Regional Hearing Impairment Prevalence: An Analysis of 42 Studies in 29 Countries. European Journal of Public Health, Vol. 23, No. 1, 146–152

4. Arlinger S. (2003) Negative Consequences of Uncorrected Hearing Loss – a Review. Int J Audiol. 2003;42(2):S17–20.  

5. Davis A, McMahon CM, Pichora-Fuller KM, Russ S, Lin F, Olusanya BO, et al. (2016) Aging and Hearing Health: The Life-Course Approach. Gerontologist. 2016;56:S256–67.