Phonak & Marvel's Iron Man Encourage Kids to Wear Hearing Aids

Today I attended an event to learn more about the partnership between Phonak, the hearing solutions company, and Marvel Entertainment to produce an educational poster to positively highlight the benefits of wearing a hearing aid.

Phonak, Marvel's Iron Man and Anthony Smith Encourage Kids to Wear Hearing Aids

The event was put together after 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 Super Hero named “Blue Ear” 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."

Phonak, Marvel's Iron Man and Anthony Smith Encourage Kids to Wear Hearing Aids

During the event, Iron Man himself came to visit Anthony and his family. Iron Man gifted Anthony with an Iron Man costume, which he put on to pose and take photos.

During the event I spoke with a Marvel representative about how Anthony's story touched everyone. He explained that Marvel is filled with parents who can relate to Anthony's mothers feeling. So Marvel wanted to find a solution to Anthony's issue of not wanting to wear his hearing aid because none of the Super Heroes wore one.

"Anthony's story reminded us that everyone, despite of or even because of their challenges, can be an inspiration to others. 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," said Marvel Custom Solutions Editor Bill Rosemann.

Phonak and Marvel's Iron Man Poster Encourage Kids to Wear Hearing Aids

The poster – designed to be displayed on kids' bedroom walls - features the hugely popular Armored Avenger Iron Man, and is currently being distributed to pediatric hearing practices throughout the country via Phonak.

While the poster was inspired by a child and geared towards children, the encouragement and message can benefit any person with hearing loss who used technology to enhanced their quality of life.

Note: I was invited as media to this event. No other compensation was received. Any personal views expressed are always 100% my own.

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