Zhang dances across parts of Europe as she deals with the sound of silence
Zhang Tianjiao is only 20 years old, and has already performed classical dance and modern ballet in front of packed audiences in Europe.
Her every move has delighted theatergoers in Zurich and Munich, and made her an integral part of an array of touring dance troupes.
“My heart beats along to the rhythm when I hear music,” she said. “Dancing is a wonderful thing and I feel the music in my heart.”
Zhang has become a cover girl for Sonova Holding AG, a multinational Swiss company specializing in hearing care solutions.
She even took part in a soccer training session with partially deaf children in Germany earlier in the summer to highlight the problem.
But dance is her real love. Even as a child in Harbin, Heilong jiang province, she knew there was only one career for her, despite being diagnosed with hearing problems.
By the time she was 16 years old, she was called up to represent China at a dance competition in Ukraine and went on to win it.
She now appears with a range of professional dance troupes and also teaches ballet lessons to children in China’s Sichuan province.
Since she was young, she has worn hearing aids from Phonak, a Sonova brand.
“Zhang’s story is a compelling illustration of how innovative hearing solutions are helping people to live a life without limitations and a concrete example of our corporate vision in action,” said Sarah Kreienbuehl, Sonova’s group vice-president .
Data from the World Health Organization have shown that more than 60 million people in China suffer from hearing loss. Only 5 percent of them possess a hearing aid.
In comparison, it is more than 40 percent in Europe. million One reason for this disparity is a lack of education and knowledge of the options for people who have hearing problems.
Sonova, one of the largest providers of hearing care solutions in the world, is working to change that.
“It is about letting people know that there are treatment options,” said Lukas Braunschweiler, chief executive officer of Sonova. “We are using education to help raise awareness in the country.”
Sonova’s operational centers in China and Vietnam manufacture hearing products for global export markets.
The factory in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, makes millions of hearing aids a year, with the group planning to introduce its first 24-hour rechargeable hearing aid here within a year.
“Our latest project in China is an audiology training academy for the whole of the AsiaPacific region,” said Leonard Marshall, vice-president of Sonova for the APAC region. “It has been established in our industrial campus in Suzhou.”
The academy’s goal will be to develop professional courses to upgrade and expand the skills of professionals in the hearing care industry.
“The situation in China still needs to be improved,” said Zhang Yuxin, an audiology professor at China Medical University in Shenyang.
“There are only about 10,000 certified professionals who can prescribe hearing solutions for patients,” Zhang added. “The number of universities offering audiology degrees are just four.”
people in China suffer from hearing loss. But only 5 percent of them possess a hearing aid. In comparison, the number is more than 40 percent in Europe.
Zhang Tianjiao plays with children with hearing problems at a soccer camp, which was backed by the Sonova.