Two hard-of-hearing boys.

If we focus on the beginning
of the story, we CAN change
the entire story

The World Health Organization estimates that there 34 million children globally with significant hearing loss and the majority live in developing countries. Left untreated, hearing loss contributes to poor outcomes in language and learning in young children that have lifelong and permanent ramifications on their quality of life.

Continuum of Care

Many studies have shown that excellent listening and spoken language outcomes are possible in babies and young children with congenital hearing loss. However, these outcomes are dependent on a Continuum of Care being made available to them in their first three years of life that includes:

  1. Early identification of hearing loss through screening programs,
  2. Informed and engaged family members and caregivers,
  3. Timely fitting of hearing aids or cochlear implants, and
  4. Access to locally-based professional expertise in habilitation (pediatric audiology, auditory-verbal practice, early intervention).

When all four of these elements are in place, babies and young children with all degrees of hearing loss can learn to listen and speak. They can attend mainstream schools with their typically hearing peers, pursue broad employment opportunities in their future, and integrate fully into their hearing communities.

However, there is a finite window of time that this reality is possible. After age 6, the brain moves on to other areas of development and the chance for a child who is deaf to learn to listen and speak is permanently lost. Time is of the essence.

Unfortunately, in many developing countries, the elements in the Continuum of Care are fragmented or do not exist at all, negatively impacting the futures of thousands of children. The Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss is working to change this reality.

  How We Are Unique

The Global Foundation for Children With Hearing Loss is one of the very few organizations in the world that works in developing countries to lay the foundational elements in the Continuum of Care for babies and young children with hearing loss.

We collaborate with government agencies and in-country partners across both health care and early education to identify and address systematic gaps in services and support for young children with hearing loss and their families.

Instead of providing direct service, our emphasis is on the long-term, comprehensive capacity building that is required to ensure that children with hearing loss 0-6 years of age have the personnel and support they need in their own countries to listen, speak and thrive.

We introduce expertise and modern technologies in hearing health care and early education, enabling full integration and inclusion of children with hearing loss into the local communities where they live.  Our innovative and dedicated approach to establish local expertise and services results in more young children with hearing loss being able to listen, speak, and thrive.

We place a great deal of importance on relationships with local constituents and developing programs in collaboration with our in-country partners. This focus and commitment to true partnership has been a significant contributor to the success and sustainability of our programs over time.

Our core focus areas are:

TRAINING PROGRAMS: The foundation of our work comprises multi-year, in-country training programs that build capacity and knowledge among medical professionals, teachers, therapists, community health workers and families who work with or have children with hearing loss. Our proprietary training curriculum is taught by our team of international experts in pediatric audiology, speech language pathology, auditory-verbal practice, and early intervention. Our training programs are unique in that we invest in the participants’ learning over a period of years. These are not one time seminars or weekend sessions. We apply a Train the Trainer approach to ensure scalability and sustainability of our teachings.

CONSULTATION: We offer consultation and project management support to government agencies and local entities in developing countries to establish or enhance in-country health and education services and systems within the Continuum of Care for babies and young children with hearing loss and their families.

OUTREACH INITIATIVES: We partner with local entities in developing countries to raise awareness about pediatric hearing loss and how it can be addressed and help to reduce stigma.

TECHNOLOGY AND RESOURCES: We provide equipment, resources, and tools to help local professionals carry out their work with babies and young children with hearing loss. We also provide hearing technology to young children in need who are supported ongoing by the local professionals we train.

RESEARCH: We support research efforts related to pediatric hearing loss in developing countries that can be used to advance practices in audiology, early intervention, and auditory-verbal practice globally.

Success Stories

Click on the images below for some examples of how the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss has made a difference in people’s lives. The replicative nature of our model is such that our team casts a proverbial pebble of knowledge and support into the countries where we work. We are unable to see the full extent of the ripples that result, although we know they go far.