In July 2016, we led three weeks of training in Vietnam with workshops covering pediatric audiology, auditory-verbal therapy, and auditory-verbal classroom for Vietnamese teachers, therapists, and audiology technicians supporting young children with hearing loss.
Our Dong Nai program offered two workshops in pediatric audiology. One program continued to build local expertise in our most advanced audiology technicians. These technicians have been in our program for several years. Other audiology technicians from within the Dong Nai province, Ho Chi Minh City, and surrounding areas joined our beginning-level workshop taking place at the same time to start to develop foundational skills in pediatric audiology.
The Dong Nai advanced level workshop combined lecture with clinics. During the clinics, the Vietnamese followed recognized standards of care in testing children and programming and verifying the fit of hearing aids provided to children in need. Most of the children were between 1 – 4 years of age and came from early intervention centers throughout the South and will be supported in their listening and language development ongoing by the Vietnamese audiology technicians, teachers and therapists we have trained. Other children with hearing loss were those we have supported over time and are now entering mainstream schools.
We also hosted a Parent Night for families of children with hearing loss. The advanced-level Vietnamese audiology technicians led the Parent Night along with our Global Foundation audiology professionals, educating families about their children’s hearing and the role they can play in helping their children progress in their development.
In Danang, we had three training tracks: pediatric audiology, auditory-verbal therapy, and auditory-verbal classroom. Global Foundation audiologists led the training in pediatric audiology for audiology technicians working in Danang and several cities around central Vietnam. On the education/therapy side, we invited six Vietnamese teachers and therapists who have been in our training program since 2010 to join us in Danang. Their role was to serve as trainers to 40 local therapists and classroom teachers all working with young children with hearing loss.
This was the first time that we formally incorporated Vietnamese professionals we have trained as trainers in our workshops.
The Danang program for teachers and therapists combined lecture with live therapy and classroom sessions with children 3-6 years old and their parents This was an opportunity for the participants to practice what they learned in real situations. It was also an opportunity for the Vietnamese trainers to coach their peers. The Global Foundation professionals who joined this effort served as mentors to the Vietnamese trainers.
A key goal of our program in Vietnam is not only to prepare the Vietnamese to do the work of supporting the children themselves, but also to train others in the country to make the benefits of the Global Foundation training efforts exponential and sustainable. So, this summer was a big step towards achieving that goal.
We hosted Parent Nights in Danang that were well attended by local families of children with hearing loss. The Vietnamese trainers and the Global Foundation professionals collaborated in providing interactive presentations and activities to teach parents about their children’s hearing loss and how to support their children’s listening and spoken language progress at home.
This was our seventh consecutive summer training program in Vietnam. We are pleased at the progress being made by the professionals and families in Vietnam to not only absorb the knowledge we share, but to apply it in meaningful ways that will help their young children with hearing loss achieve their full potential.