By: Korie Marshall

This week at the Valemount Lions Hall, you can get your hearing tested for free.

“Good hearing promotes and enhances effective communication, which then supports a high quality of living,” says Debbie Strang, Health Services Administrator for the Robson Valley. Hearing test are important because early identification is key to putting corrective actions in place, especially for children, says Strang. Hearing is necessary for good speech and language development in children.

A visiting audiology van will be coming to Valemount from September 8th to 11th. Barb Shepherd, president of the Lions Club, says they used to come to the school every year when she worked there. When the club heard about the grants available from Valemount’s Healthy Communities Committee through Northern Health, they thought it would be a good opportunity to help the community.

“Otherwise, you have to go to Kamloops or Prince George, and you have to pay your transportation and time to get there,” said Shepherd.

Shepherd says the free tests won’t be available to children under 10 because younger children don’t really grasp the purpose of the test and the sounds, so the results aren’t really useful. For older children and adults, the testing will be done in a special van in the Lions Hall parking lot, and results will be given directly to you. The test takes about 20 minutes to complete.

The Valemount Lions Club received a $5,000 grant from the Healthy Communities Committee to provide the hearing test service. The Library also got funding for the giant outdoor checker and chess set, and Valemount Area Recreation Development Association got funding for some activities around the 5 Mile bike trail system, said Hollie Blanchette, spokesperson for the committee.

Shepherd says there are lots of testing spaces available, and it is free – just call 250-566-4378 to book an appointment. Learn more about hearing services provided by Northern Health at the northern health website.