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Abstract: Community health workers in one health region of New South Wales were surveyed about their criteria and referral patterns to identify and assist adults with acquired hearing losses. Reported or observed communication problems were the most commonly used criteria for identifying hearing loss, suggesting that a failure model was being utilised. Given that the literature has previously demonstrated reluctance on the part of individuals with acquired hearing loss to report their hearing difficulties, the implications of these results are discussed. Clients suspected of having acquired hearing losses were usually referred to their doctors for further investigation and treatment. Other hearing help services were not systematically utilised. Alternative strategies for identifying and managing acquired hearing loss at the community level are needed. (Aust J Public Health