Media - Sonova News Room
Circus artist supports people affected by hearing loss
Stäfa (Switzerland), May 4, 2018 – Sonova Holding AG, the world’s leading provider of hearing solutions, announces a cooperation with prominent Swiss aerialist Jason Brügger. After suffering a severe inner-ear infection, he was afraid his career as a circus artist might be over. However, with the help of hearing aids from Sonova brand Phonak, Jason Brügger has managed to put this chapter behind him and is now living his dream against all the odds. In an award-winning film, 25-year-old Brügger tells his moving story for the first time. In his capacity as an ambassador for Phonak, the aerialist will be raising awareness and giving hope to people coping with hearing loss around the world. As part of an aid project organized by Hear the World Foundation, a Sonova Group initiative, Jason Brügger recently travelled to Lebanon on a mission to boost the self-confidence of disadvantaged children affected by hearing loss.
As an ambassador for Sonova’s hearing instrument brand Phonak, Jason Brügger will be actively involved in a range of projects around the globe designed to support people with hearing loss – and this work is deeply personal for the talented circus artist. To kick off the collaboration, Sonova has shot an inspirational film portrait of the charismatic aerialist. The short film illustrates vividly just how important Sonova’s hearing solutions are for people coming to terms with hearing loss. At the International Business Film Festival (Internationale Wirtschaftsfilmtage) in Vienna, “Life without limitations – The story of Jason Brügger” is set to receive four awards: Let it roll!
“There’s always a way to achieve what you want to do”
Jason Brügger has dreamed of being a circus artist since early childhood. Straight after graduating from high school, he left for Canada to undergo training at the renowned “National Circus School” in Montreal. But then came a severe infection of his right inner ear, accompanied by hearing loss, tinnitus, and bouts of vertigo; the same condition spread to his left ear soon after. “The doctors advised me against becoming a circus artist as I had real difficulties with my balance,” he recalls. “I felt like I was in a pot with the lid on.” The hearing aids from Sonova brand Phonak that he has been wearing since 2015 have helped him to reach his goal despite these obstacles. “I can still remember putting on my hearing aids for the first time. A whole world opened up to me again. My life has changed so much since then. I really enjoy life. I do things. I’m braver. I’m part of the world once more.”
Jason Brügger is proud of his acrobatic achievements. In 2016, he won the fourth season of the casting show “Switzerland’s Got Talent”. The following year he joined the Swiss National Circus Knie and reached the final of “Das Supertalent”, the German version of the casting show “Got Talent”.
“I certainly hope that I can encourage other people to believe in themselves with my story. Even if you’ve been told something is beyond you for whatever reason, you should believe in yourself anyway, and fight for your dreams – there’s always a way to achieve what you want to do.”
Circus workshop for disadvantaged children with hearing loss in Lebanon
April 2018 in Beirut, Lebanon: at the invitation of Sonova, Jason Brügger visited an aid project organized by the Hear the World Foundation. Spellbound, Syrian and Lebanese children watch the short film about his life at the “Institute for Audio-Phonetic Reeducation” (Institut de Rééducation Audio-Phonétique). The group is made up of Lebanese youngsters from disadvantaged families in the region and their Syrian playmates, who live in refugee camps not far from Beirut. Many of them have lost their hearing altogether as a result of war or have suffered hearing damage due to acoustic traumas (explosions). Thanks to the Hear the World Foundation’s aid project, the affected children will be able to hear again and thus (re)gain access to language. They will receive custom-fitted hearing aids and professional audiological care. To facilitate their work, the Foundation has established close relationships with local Lebanese schools for the deaf as well as with hearing care chain Houri Hearing. The project also benefits considerably from the expertise of Sonova staff who are working in Beirut on a voluntary basis. And Jason Brügger is supporting the children’s development on site with a circus workshop: inspired by his story, the kids learn to improve their balance through acrobatic exercises and proudly strut their stuff in front of their parents.
“We look forward to arranging further projects with Jason Brügger. His commitment as an ambassador for Sonova’s hearing instrument brand Phonak plays a key role in enabling us to realize our vision, which is all about using innovative hearing solutions to help people live a life without limitations,” explains Arnd Kaldowski, Sonova’s CEO. “Jason Brügger’s circus workshop in Beirut has supported the Hear the World Foundation’s work in a very special way and has benefited a particularly deserving group of disadvantaged children – strengthening their confidence, lifting their spirits and giving them hope. We are extremely grateful to him for this.”
Jason Brügger’s commitment to helping people with hearing loss has attracted media interest: tonight – May 4, 2018 at 18.40 – Swiss broadcaster SRF (Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen) will be showing a documentary about the aerialist and his experiences in Lebanon as part of the TV magazine “Glanz & Gloria”.
About the Hear the World Foundation
Founded in 2006 by Sonova, the world’s leading provider of hearing solutions, the Hear the World Foundation supports disadvantaged people, particularly children, affected by hearing loss around the world and gets involved in hearing loss prevention. It focuses particularly on aid projects for children with hearing loss, to enable them to develop at the appropriate rate for their age. Since its establishment, the non-profit Swiss foundation has supported over 90 projects with funding, hearing aid technology and expertise. More than 100 celebrity ambassadors, including Bryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen, Cindy Crawford, Eros Ramazzotti, Plácido Domingo and Sting, champion the Hear the World Foundation’s “conscious hearing” message.
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