VIETNAM DEAF EDUCATION PROGRAM
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Check out our video and our Vietnam Deaf Education Program:
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For children with hearing loss to develop listening and spoken language, they must be identified as early as possible, have appropriate access to hearing technology, and the support of trained professionals who can help foster their auditory and language development. With such support, these children can then learn to listen and talk. They can aspire to broader education and employment opportunities and have greater potential for leading independent lives in their hearing communities.
There are over 180,000 children with hearing loss under the age of 18 in Vietnam. Vietnam only recently began providing education and resources to professionals, teachers, and families who work with or have children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Audiology is in its early stages of development and speech-language pathology, early intervention, and auditory-verbal practice are still relatively new concepts. Vietnamese professionals working with children with hearing loss have requested more training to better prepare them for their work.
The Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss is collaborating with Thuan An Center for Disabled Children and Ho Chi Minh City University in Vietnam on a multi-faceted Deaf Education Program to fill this need. The program features Summer Training, Mobile Missions, and Video Analysis initiatives. Thirty-eight schools, clinics, and early intervention centers and two hospitals across 20 Vietnam provinces are participating. The program is designed to empower teachers, audiology technicians, families, and medical teams with the expertise and tools they need to help children with hearing loss make use of hearing technology and develop listening and spoken language -- and then to train each other.
A contingent of speech and hearing and deaf education professionals from US, Canada, and Hong Kong design the curriculum for all the program elements and travel to Vietnam throughout the year to teach the material.
In lockstep with the quote: "Give me a fish and I will eat for a day. Teach me to fish and I eat for a lifetime. Teach me to teach others to fish and we can feed the world", Vietnam program participants graduating from our program are prepared to not only do the work themselves, but train others in the country, making the benefits exponential -- and sustainable.
The Summer Training component features curricula covering topics in audiology, speech-pathology, early intervention, and auditory-verbal practice. Teachers, medical teams, therapists, audiology technicians, and families from the participating schools, clinics, and hospitals travel to Thuan An Center each summer to board and to attend the training. Those who pass the final test at the conclusion of each summer workshop progress to the next level the following year and build on their knowledge over time.
The curricula include lectures and practicum for Vietnamese professionals and evening sessions for families - all designed to help children with hearing loss develop their listening and spoken language skills. We also fit hearing aids on children from low-income families as part of our audiology training course.
The Global Foundation and Thuan An Center held the first training event in Summer, 2010. Subsequent programs were held in 2011, 2012, and 2013 with the next one scheduled for Summer, 2014.
The Mobile Mission program complements the Summer Training Program. A team of Global Foundation professionals travel to select participating schools and hospitals throughout the year to provide in-classroom and therapy coaching support, audiology training, counseling to families, and hearing testing and hearing aid fitting for children. We have conducted three Mobile Missions with plans for another in 2014. Check out testimonials we received from participants in our 2012 Mobile Mission.
Since Summer 2010, we have successfully executed four Summer Training workshops and three Mobile Missions. We have trained over 220 teachers, 270 families, and 125 medical and other professionals. We have fit 320 hearing aids on young children. Our Vietnam Deaf Education Program is directly benefitting over 1000 children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Click here to read a Vietnamese teacher's personal perspective on how our program has made a difference for one of her young students and her ability to help him. The Director of Thuan An Center wrote this letter to our Executive Director reflecting on progress made and the impact of this program.
We are collaborating with academics on research and evaluation measures tied to this project. Our Vietnam Deaf Education Program is a model we plan to expand to other developing countries who have requested our support.
Please click on the links below to read news coverage about this program:
DID YOU KNOW?
HEARING LOSS IS ONE OF THE WORLD'S MOST COMMON DISABILITIES AND YET ONE OF THE LEAST SUPPORTED.