Last year, I wrote an article for the ASHA Leader titled “The Ripple Effect of a Powerful Idea” in which I explained the goal of our Vietnam program is to empower teachers, professionals, and families with knowledge that they can then share with each other. Our collective efforts will ensure that more children with hearing loss can succeed. We cannot change the hand that fate has dealt, but what we can do is help each other make the most of what we’ve got.

In the ASHA article, I talked about how parents who had taken part in our parent program last summer found inspiration in the idea that they could take an active role in their children’s development. They banded together to start a parent group to network with each other to provide support and share insights. Last Friday, another example of this ripple effect idea came into play….

On my way to the lecture room, I passed Hein, one of our interpreters who has been working with us for the past two summers. Hein has her own early intervention center in Nha Trang. She had asked Thuy if she could be the interpreter for our audiology program this year because she wanted to increase her knowledge about the discipline.

We stopped for a quick chat and I asked Hein how the audiology program was going. She broke into a big smile and said it was a terrific curriculum and that she and the others were learning a great deal. Hein went on to explain that the hospital in Nha Trang doesn’t have an audiology clinic. Her families and others in the area that have children with hearing loss have to make a 8-10-hour trip to Ho Chi Minh City when their child needs audiology services, even for minor issues.

Several staff members of a hearing aid dispenser are enrolled in our audiology training. Hein shared the problem with them and now they are making arrangments for some of the staff members in our training workshop to offer audiology services at the Nha Trang hospital on a periodic basis. It was heartwarming news to receive at the end of a very rewarding week.

Today marks the halfway point of our month-long training program….we accomplished much in the first two weeks but there is much more to do. We are looking forward to the days ahead!