The 2015 Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss Vietnam Summer Training Program is starting to grow in numbers as we end the first week.

All the Vietnamese teachers taking part in the Kindergarten Classroom Training Program that starts next week arrived Wednesday evening. They came two days early so they could engage together in pre-work and preparations in anticipation of the start of their training program next week.

Some of the Vietnamese in our Auditory Verbal Therapy and Early Intervention Program arrived early as well.  At the end of our last training program in March, these therapists took initiative to start developing a master handbook of Global Foundation training material that we have provided to them over the past five years. This comprehensive handbook will be their guide as they train other professionals and families in Vietnam moving forward.

Approximately 15 therapists took ownership to develop the outline for this master handbook. I received the final draft of their work about a month ago. I shared it with some of our Global Foundation professionals who have been the Vietnamese mentors over the years for their input and feedback. All of us were impressed with the thought and depth that they put into this outline.

This week, these therapists arrived early to the start of their training program next week to finalize this outline and identify content that will go into the master handbook.  Yesterday, a few hours were spent reviewing the Global Foundation team’s feedback. They welcomed the input and took diligent notes. Some of the feedback even created additional discussion among the Vietnamese. It has been such an inspiring effort to observe as it unfolds.

Meanwhile, the Audiology Training Program has been going at full-tilt this week with Global Foundation audiologist Julie Verhoff doing a wonderful job leading the effort.

As we near the end of the first week of this program, the training aspects have stepped up quite a bit. Case files have expanded to include some new tools, The Vietnamese audiology technicians have been tasked to take ownership of the children they are seeing, working in teams to conduct full hearing assessments, hearing aid fittings and adjustments, parent counseling, and case review. Some families are here for several hours as part of this process .And it has been very good for everyone involved.

The teachers and therapists who came early have also spent some time observing the Audiology Training Program. It was great to see the Vietnamese teachers, therapists, and audiology technicians share learning about the children and talk among themselves about collaboration opportunities to help optimize the children’s performance.

These informal conversations stayed with the teachers and they continued brainstorming as a group later about how they can help resolve some audiological issues the children have faced.

It has always been a key tenant of our program that education and audiology should be working together with parents to assess the children they serve and help them make most use of their hearing technology to learn to listen and talk.  To see the Vietnamese take initiative to carry on such conversations was terrific.  It was also encouraging to see that the Vietnamese therapists working on the master handbook had decided to include an entire section about pediatric audiology. It all bodes well to demonstrate alignment with this collaborative vision.

A great first week all around!  Now we look forward to the rest of the Global Foundation professionals arriving this weekend to kick off the Education training efforts.