This has been a wonderful experience for the opportunity to spend time with the teachers and families at their home schools. The programs in Dalat
, Da Nang
, and Ho Chi Minh
City all face
different situations and challenges but shar
e the consistent desire to to well by the children they serve. We fit 95 hearing aids on children who needed them. We trained people who do audiology work, we mentored teachers about auditory-verbal strategies, and inspired hope in parents that their children can indeed grow up to become successful, independent members of society.
emails from other parts of Vietnam and from potential partners about our quality work. We are on the right track with this Deaf Education program and I look forward to continuing our efforts with Ms. Thuy
An Center and other Vietnamese professionals to empower their health care community, teachers, and families with the awareness, training support, and technology that their children with hearing loss need.
Our team spent two hours assessing our Mobile Mission experiences over some well deserved drinks and snacks on our last night in Da Nang
. We all feel that more audiology training would be helpful in the schools and hospitals. Newborn hearing screening and audiology care and support are rarities here. The Vietnamese government does not yet recognize audiology or speech pathology as professions. Among other things, this has hampered university training in these areas. The government and insurance companies also do not currently provide any funding for
hearing aids or cochlear implants which has created challenges for families to access such technology. We saw many children with profound hearing loss in these two weeks alone that would benefit from cochlear implants, and yet they likely will not get them. Hearing aids need to be more accessible and shouldn’t take
months to repair.
Follow-up support in the way of trained professionals in early intervention, auditory-verbal therapy, and speech pathology would ensure these children succeed after they are fitted with hearing devices. Support mechanisms should be developed for parents and kids with hearing loss who are mainstreamed in neighborhood schools.
In spite of these challenges, there are many positives and bright spots of potential. The teachers care and are eager to learn new techniques to help their children develop spoken language and ac
quire education. The families, like families everywhere, want the best for their children and will do just about anything to ensure their success. Everywhere we went, the turnout was phenomenal. There is no question there is great desire to improve the landscape in Vietnam for children who are deaf and hard of hearing, both in present time and for the future.
The Global Foundation’s goal with its Vietnam Deaf Education program is to provide the mechanisms for increased awareness and improvements through education, training,
and access to technology so that the Vietnamese have all the tools to make sound choices for their hard of hearing and deaf children.
Our Mobile Mission has drawn to a close, but the Global Foundation is already looking ahead to our next effort. We are conducting the second year of our teacher training program at Thuan
An Center in a four-week program between June-July 2011. Over 100 teachers and families are scheduled to travel from the 35 schools in our program to attend the training. Many of these participants are returne
es from last summer’s effort and we look forward to helping them build on their knowledge. We also plan to engage in family consultations, hearing testing, and fit hearing aids on children who need them. Our team is devising a special audiology workshop for hearing professionals, medical students, and those who audiology work in the schools. It promises to be another successful event and we are all looking forward to it.
This will be the last blog entry until we land in Vietnam
again in June. Thank you for following along with us..and I hope you found it engaging! On behalf of everyone at the Global Foundation, thank you for your continued support and interest in our work. We are very grateful. I hope you will stay in touch with us….please visit our website at http://www.childrenwithhearingloss.org/
for more information
about our programs and to sign up for our quarterly newsletter.
Meanwhile, until June….Camon
and Tam Biet