The Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss returns to Vietnam in March 2015 to conduct our latest Mobile Mission training program. These Mobile Missions serve three purposes — to continue the training of Vietnamese teachers about auditory-verbal practice for young children with hearing loss, to further the knowledge of audiology technicians, doctors and other medical practitioners at the hospitals and schools to support pediatric audiology, and to provide education to parents and family members about their children’s hearing loss.  

This March will be our fifth Mobile Mission program and our largest, most involved to date with eleven workshops scheduled across four weeks at two hospitals, an early intervention center, and a university in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Lai Thieu.  We anticipate approximately 110 Vietnamese professionals and over 160 families to take part.  Our focus, as always, is on training and building capacity among the Vietnamese to support listening and spoken language in young children with hearing loss under 6 years of age. 

The Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss talented team of professionals for this Mobile Mission comprises of audiologists Stacy Claycomb, Sarah Florence, Megan Mansfield and Pat Roush and auditory-verbal therapists Lyndsey Allen, Sandra Hancock, Sally Tannenbaum, and Erin Thompson.  Hear the World Foundation generously provided for two additional audiologists to join us – Adam Chell and Dawn Ruley.  All of these professionals have worked hard these past several months to develop the teaching materials and prepare for their instruction of the curriculum. 
One highlight of this Mobile Mission will be a forum to discuss newborn hearing screening and the possibility for expanding the service at the hospitals in both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.  Currently, only high-risk infants are tested for hearing loss in the cities. While this is a start, research shows half of all cases of infant hearing loss are left unidentified when screening is only administered to high-risk newborns. The earlier that hearing loss is identified, the sooner that early intervention services can get started and the greater the potential for positive outcomes in listening and spoken language.  So we are all looking forward to this conversation and working with the Vietnamese to help them achieve their goal of more wide-spread testing of infants for hearing loss. 
This past Fall, the advanced Vietnamese participants in our auditory-verbal therapy program engaged in video analysis sessions with our Global Foundation professionals to continue their learning after our Summer session.  We are looking forward to working with this group in person during our Mobile Mission as they continue to demonstrate great strides in their acumen and understanding of auditory-verbal practice.  
There’s lots to look forward to as our Mobile Mission gets underway on March 2.  We’re grateful to all our Vietnamese partners, participants, our grantors and supporters, and the Global Foundation professionals who are working together to make such a great impact on the system of support in Vietnam for young children with hearing loss.  We’re looking forward to getting started!