Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss Programs
Paige Stringer is the Executive Director and Founder of the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss. Born with a severe to profound hearing loss, Paige benefitted from early identification of her hearing loss, access to hearing aids, and the support of qualified professionals to develop listening and spoken language. She was fit with hearing aids at 11 months of age and was mainstreamed in kindergarten after receiving therapy and audiology support during her earliest years. Paige holds two academic degrees and has a successful business career. She started the Global Foundation to help children with hearing loss in developing countries have the same opportunities for success in life that she was fortunate to have.
The Global Foundation has assembled an exceptional team of professionals, advisors, and board of directors with ties to Seattle-based companies and organizations working in hearing loss. Please visit our website to learn more about us.
Since 2010, the Global Foundation has collaborated with Vietnamese partners in hearing health care and education to identify and address gaps in the system of support for children who are deaf or hard of hearing in Vietnam. The cornerstone of our work is a Deaf Education Program, an integrated model featuring a Summer Training Curriculum, Mobile Missions (on site visits to participating schools and clinics during the year to reinforce the Summer Training), and Video Analysis to build expertise across audiology speech, and deaf education for doctors, audio-technicians, teachers, and families. Thirty-eight schools for the deaf across 20 Vietnam provinces and 3 pediatric hospitals are participating. We are reaching over 1000 children with hearing loss.
Recognizing that no professional area can succeed in isolation, the program is designed to help the Vietnamese establish the cross-functional services needed to support children with hearing loss. The participants progress through the curriculum, building their knowledge and expertise over time. Because our program crosses disciplines and is working with the same group of schools, hospitals, and clinics, we are helping the Vietnamese build capacity and a network of support for children with hearing loss. The Global Foundation’s Train the Trainer model encourages sharing of knowledge, making the training exponential and sustainable. During our Summer Training and Mobile Missions, we fit hearing aids on children in need from low income famillies who are supported by the Vietnamese professionals in our program.
The Guatemalans have invited us to customize our Vietnam Deaf Education training program model to help children with hearing loss in Guatemala make use of hearing aids and learn to listen and talk. The proposed 5-year program will launch in 2013-14 and involve about 50 teachers and audio-technicians working at schools and clinics in Department of Xela and Guatemala City serving 400 children at the onset. A parent program will also be featured. Hearing aids will be provided to children in need.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
The Global Foundation collects qualitative and quantitative data during each training program to measure progress and acquisition of material taught. We use the results to adjust our approach to our training model.
When we first started our program in Vietnam, teachers did not use any assessments to evaluate the children nor did they use any strategies or lesson plans. Since 2010, the education participants have not only learned such skills, but have implemented them into their daily teaching curriculum, leading to positive outcomes for the children they serve. At Thuan An Center, for example, more children in the early intervention program are on track to attend mainstream schools than ever before. Families have indicated they are seeing the progress in their children and are empowered to help them at home. The audiology participants have established a Collaboration Coalition to utilize the training we have provided them to address ways to better serve children with hearing loss and their families.
The Global Foundation’s Vietnam Deaf Education model addresses many of the touch points (parents, teachers, medical teams, technicians), service centers (hospitals, schools,clinics, etc), offers training across disciplines (audiology, speech, auditory-verbal education, early intervention), on a large scale (38 schools in 20 provinces, 3 hospitals). Because we collaborate with the Vietnamese, our programs are customized to their needs. And, by working with the same group of participants over time, the participants build on their knowledge. They share learning with each other, making the benefits exponential and sustainable.
The Global Foundation has experienced increasing demand for its training programs and expertise in Vietnam, Guatemala, and other developing countries. We do not have any employees. With greater resource capacity and funding, the Global Foundation will be able to expand the scope of its successful model. We will help improve early intervention efforts and provide the education, technology resources, and professional support that children with hearing loss need to live fulfilled lives in our hearing world.