About us

The Austrian Cochlear Implant Society (ÖCIG) was founded in 1992 by Franz K. Wimmer. Franz Wimmer, who became totally deaf in 1984 after a series of sudden hearing losses, was the first Austrian patient to be fitted with a multichannel cochlear implant by Prof. Ernst Lehnhardt in 1986.
Because of his own situation, Franz K. Wimmer has made it his life’s work to support those affected.

Families confronted with the deafness of their children were the first to be affected and were the focus of his work. Through counselling, together with the team of the ENT department of the provincial hospitals under Prim. Prof. Dr. Klaus Albegger and, above all, through contacts and joint activities and information events, he showed those affected a positive way forward.

After his untimely death in the summer of 2003, the association was led by President Franz Jank, Vice-President Elisabeth Reidl and Prim. Prof. Dr. Gerd Rasp led the association on a voluntary basis until 2017. From March 2017, the organisation merged with the CI Self-Help Association for Burgenland, Lower Austria and Styria, with part of the former CI Self-Help Board now actively involved in ÖCIG under the leadership of the new President Markus Raab and Vice President Prim. Prof. Dr. Gerd Rasp, the association will continue to be run on a voluntary basis.

Following the tragic loss of Markus Raab in 2023, the Association’s Board of Directors has been reorganised. Under the leadership of current president Tobias Fischer and vice-president Elisabeth Reidl, the board team is made up of dedicated members who honour Markus Raab’s legacy and are determined to continue the association’s mission. Of the current six board members, five are affected cochlear implant users or OSIA users themselves, underlining their commitment to the Association’s cause and their dedication to the community. This development follows a long history of volunteerism that has characterised the Association since its inception in 1992.

ÖCIG is a non-profit organisation that is open to all interested parties and CI users, regardless of implant manufacturers.

The work of the association is aimed at supporting deaf and hard of hearing children, young people and adults. It is precisely this independence that makes it possible to represent the interests of CI users on a broad level. The aims of the association include:

  • Counselling and support for deaf and hard of hearing children, young people and adults and their families.
  • Organisation of information events for those affected and the interested public.
  • Exchange of experience and information between those affected and their families.
  • To liaise with other associations and organisations for the hearing impaired, deaf and CI users.
  • Organisation of leisure and social activities for those affected.

ÖCIG is funded exclusively by membership fees, donations and grants.

You can also help us continue our work by joining this organisation, which is also open to people who are not affected, and through your support.

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