We’re kicking off the new year 2013 with our latest training initiative in our Vietnam Deaf Education Program – a third Mobile Mission designed to further the skills of professionals and families in Vietnam to help children with hearing loss learn to listen and talk.
Since 2010, our Vietnam Deaf Education Program has offered a multi-year Summer Training curriculum and a Mobile Mission series for approximately 300 teachers, medical teams, audiologists, and other professionals and 200 families from 38 schools and 3 hospitals across South Vietnam. The participants are taught by Global Foundation professionals in audiology, speech therapy, early intervention, and deaf education, and as they progress through the program year over year, they build on their knowledge. They then share their learning with others, making the benefits exponential and sustainable.  We also fit hearing aids on children in need as part of our audiology training efforts. 

Each year, the Vietnamese participants travel from the 38 schools and 3 hospitals to Thuan An Center to board and engage in the Summer Training program.  After our first summer workshop in 2010, the Vietnamese asked that we supplement the Summer Training with visits to their home schools and hospitals throughout the year. This way, they could further their learning in their own classrooms and clinics and with the children they serve in their own communities.  We launched our Mobile Mission program in 2011 to fill that request.  Smaller teams of Global Foundation professionals have traveled to schools and hospitals in Danang, Dalat, Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, and Lai Thieu to provide on the spot audiology and auditory-verbal therapy instruction. 

And now here we are entering 2013 and our next Mobile Mission. Our team comprises of two audiologists – Jane Madell and Elizabeth Preston — and three auditory-verbal deaf educators — Ann Baumann, Hannah Eskridge, and Lillian Henderson. We’ll start on January 3 in Hanoi where we have been invited to provide instruction to professionals and families at Hanoi University of Education. This is a first step towards potential expansion of our model to the north.   From there, we head to Ho Chi Minh City and Children’s Hospital 1 where we will be working with doctors, technicians, and therapists enrolled in our Deaf Education Program. We wrap up the month at Thuan An Center working with the teachers and audiologists at that center.  We’ll also offer workshops for parents at both the hospital and at Thuan An Center.  We will also revisit the children that we have been working with at Thuan An Center to test their hearing and provide adjustments to existing technology or new hearing aids as needed. 

We’re looking forward to regrouping with the Vietnamese to work together to help young children with hearing loss learn listen and talk.  We have a full schedule ahead in January that no doubt will bring lots of stories to share. I hope that you’ll check back on this blog over the next several weeks as we’ll be reporting on events from the field.  Thank you for your interest and support and here’s to the adventures ahead!