The Ministry of Education was criticised for its discrimination against children with Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) by the CEO of the National Foundation for the Deaf, Louise Carroll, on TV1 News. The news item focused on ten year old Lachlan who needs remote microphone hearing aids to hear well in class.
Children with hearing loss due to any other cause receive free hearing aids from the Ministry of Health. However under current government policy, children with APD are singled out and may only apply to the Ministry of Education for hearing aid funding. The problem is that the Ministry of Education disallows applications in the majority (90% or more) of cases. This is a major inequity compared to other children who need hearing aids, and to adults. Even the wealthiest of adults with hearing impairment are entitled to a subsidy of $1022.22 towards hearing aids.
Critics believe that hearing aid fitting is a health matter, that the Ministry of Education is not an appropriate organisation to be fitting or funding hearing aids, and that hearing aids for children with APD should be managed and funded by the Ministry of Health on the same basis as hearing aids for children with other types of deafness.