As our summer program draws to a close, it is quite remarkable to reflect on all that was accomplished. In the course of four weeks, we trained 87 teachers who represented 38 schools and early intervention centers throughout South Vietnam, provided training and consultative support to 55 families, fit 30 hearing aids on young children, trained 18 participants in our new audiology program, hosted four webinars between families in the US and Vietnam.

We presented to approximately 80 people at the US Consulate in HCMC about pediatric hearing loss and visited two pediatric hospital audiology clinics.

We translated over 600 pages of material and produced four handbooks for our program participants. Eight interpreters worked tirelessly to ensure the content was understood across culture and language differences. We collected data on each child and family that we met with so we can follow their progress over time. It was quite a month for sure!
Every good program has an incredible team behind it and this one is no exception. I cannot say enough about the efforts of our Thuan An Center partners and our professionals and students who traveled from the US and Hong Kong to share their time, expertise, and knowledge with the Vietnamese participants. They say that “you make a living by what you get, and you make a life by what you give.” To that, I would add, “…and by giving, you can change another person’s life”. Our team did exactly that and I am grateful to each of them.

Here are a few shining moments that point to the impact the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss is making as an organization in Vietnam:

1) We’ve seen a convergence of our various programs – summer teacher training, mobile missions to sites during the year, and hearing aid distribution. Children who received hearing aids from us during the January 2011 mobile mission traveled to us this summer for audiology appointments with our team, their parents met with our therapists about language development, and their teachers were engaged in our training program. So we provided the children access to sound and are training others about how to help these children make the best use of this sound.

2) Participants new to our program this summer were further along in their understanding of the topics we covered than last year’s group. The reason is because last year’s participants went back to their home schools and shared their knowledge with their peers. The crux of what we are trying to accomplish — empower teachers to train each other — is taking root.

3) Our new audiology program involved 18 participants who do audiology work at the schools, a hearing aid dispenser, and medical teams from two hospitals. We integrated our family consults with the audiology training so that the audiology participants not only learned theory and practiced using the equipment, but had the opportunity to practice what they learned on the families themselves with the support of our professional audiologists. This really helped further their training and confidence.

4) We fit 30 hearing aids on children from low-income families. All of these children attend schools in our program so we will be able to monitor their progress and work with their teachers and families to ensure their continued success.

5) We visited 2 hospitals that provide pediatric audiology and therapy support. We will provide training and newborn hearing screening information to them as part of our mobile mission in 2012.

Those are just a few of the highlights that demonstrate the scope and impact of our efforts.

We hope you’ll take a few minutes and enjoy this video that captures the experience:

Thank you for your interest and support of the Global Foundation. We will be returning to Vietnam in February 2012 for our next Mobile Mission. I hope you’ll join us on our blog for that. If you would like to stay in touch with us in the meantime, please sign up for our quarterly newsletter at our website at Also, we’ll be presenting at the ASHA Convention in November so if you are there, please stop by!

Thank you again- we are grateful for your support. Until our next adventure….cam on and tam biet!