With funding support from Cochlear Foundation, the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss (GFCHL) developed and executed a multi-year training program in auditory-verbal therapy and paediatric audiology in Vietnam to help more of Vietnam's young children with hearing loss can develop listening and speaking skills.
Auditory-verbal therapy is a method for teaching children with profound hearing loss to listen and speak using their hearing technology, such as hearing aids or hearing implants. It focuses on listening skills to improve communication. With early intervention, this therapy helps offer children with hearing loss access to the same opportunities and an equal start in life as hearing children.
GFCHL launched its Vietnam program in 2010. First focused on the southern areas of the country, the GFCHL Vietnam program later expanded to include the north and central regions, effectively making the program a national effort. GFCHL provided training to Vietnamese teachers, therapists, medical professionals, and audiology technicians who work with children with hearing loss and their families. Participants of this program were not only trained to support young children with hearing but to also train their peers to extend the benefits.
The GFCHL also provided education seminars for families of children with hearing aids and cochlear implants and implemented community outreach efforts to raise awareness across the country for paediatric hearing loss and available interventions.
In 2018, the GFCHL began training therapists within the Vietnam government’s Institute of Educational Sciences within the Ministry of Education and Training to support their aim to establish a standardised training curriculum in auditory-verbal therapy for Vietnam. As a result, the children of Vietnam should have increased access to therapy as more local training is provided.
In addition to training, GFCHL supplies hearing technology to young children in need. The children and their families are then supported ongoing by the medical professionals, audiology technicians, teachers, and therapists it trains. This ensures the children have locally based resources to fully benefit from hearing technology to help them learn, listen and talk.
Since the program’s inception in 2010, the GFCHL has trained over 300 teachers and therapists, along with 120 medical professionals in Vietnam. More than 35 schools and early intervention centres, four audiology clinics, three hospitals, and three universities across Vietnam are represented by participants in GFCHL training programs. Additionally, over 700 families have engaged in GFCHL family programs to learn how to help their child with hearing loss learn to listen and speak. The program directly benefitted over 1,000 children with disabling hearing loss and because of the Train the Trainer model that the GFCHL employs, additional children will benefit well into the future.
Removing barriers to education for millions of children and young people, including those with hearing loss, and raising awareness about the need for early access to hearing healthcare and support.
Supporting a research program, which identifies methods for improving treatment and care for the hearing loss community.