Thuy and I are visiting schools across the South that are enrolled in our Vietnam Deaf Education Program.  Our first stop was an early intervention and  day school program in Dong Nai province. All the teachers of the deaf who work here are enrolled in our program. They have 3 classrooms of 4 and 5 year olds and an early intervention program – about 45 children with hearing loss under 5 years old in total .  

We spent time observing the classes and it was obvious the teachers are implementing approaches that we are teaching in our Summer Training Program.  The teachers have made some adjustments to their techniques and the children are responding well.  In the afternoon, we met with the teachers and administrators who shared their thoughts about the areas they would like further instruction on during our program next summer including more time spent on assessment and how to teach children across different levels of abilities in one classroom.  They are earnest in their desire to continue to develop as teachers. 

One of the main challenges the school faces is ongoing audiology and hearing aid care for the children.  The kids get services from a hearing aid company who travel there 2 times a year from Ho Chi Minh City. Parents travel about 3 hours one way to Ho Chi Minh City to get care in between these visits. Not ideal of course…and so we spent time talking about that issue and how to address. It was a productive day and Thuy and I appreciated warm welcome. We learned a great deal that will be useful to us as we continue to develop next summer’s program and in addressing the larger issue of how best to serve these children and their families.