Welcome back to Organizational Spotlight! Our focus this week is the Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss, which is a non-governmental organization founded in 2009 by Paige Stringer. Throughout a journey that Stringer took across Southeast Asia in 2008, she saw that limited professional expertise, shortage of hearing aids, and general lack of awareness about hearing loss were having a detrimental effect on the livelihoods of thousands of children who are deaf and hard of hearing. As a woman who has experienced hearing loss herself, Stringer decided that she wanted to work to change this and make a positive impact on the futures of these children. As a result, she started the Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss!
As stated on their website, the Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss “aims to make a direct and lasting impact on the futures of thousands of children who are deaf or hard of hearing around the world by providing them access to the early identification, hearing technology, and locally-based expertise they need to reach their full potential”. With this mission, the Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss works to assure that these three components are accessible to infants and young children with hearing loss in low and middle income countries.
Even though they are based in Poulsbo, Washington, the Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss is currently doing work in Vietnam and Mongolia. In Vietnam, there is a shortage in the trained professionals and resources necessary to serve the abundance of children with hearing loss. To assist in bettering the lives of these children, the organization has been working since 2010 to help the country build professional capacity and services in early education. They have also been working in the audiology field to help improve the situations of children with hearing loss who are learning to listen and talk.
In Mongolia, the organization, in partnership with Ulaanbaatar medical professionals, developed a hearing health and education program to help to establish newborn hearing screening. This program provides instruction using the Global Foundation curriculum in pediatric audiology and auditory-verbal practice to help professionals working with children with hearing loss who are learning to listen and talk. It also works to raise awareness in the professional and general community for pediatric hearing loss, its implications, and how it can be addressed. The incredible work that the Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss has been performing in these countries has made a massive difference in improving the lives of those who are hard of hearing. With their continued work, we can hope that those who are hard of hearing will one day be granted complete access to all of the resources necessary to be successful in all aspects of life.
The Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss is similar to DOW in the sense that they wish to put an end the lack of professional expertise in the field of deafness and hearing loss. However, DOW works to achieve this by working to provide teachers with the instruction necessary for them to be properly equipped to educate deaf youth in Eswatini. Through these efforts, DOW hopes to increase the educational opportunities of deaf youth in the country to support their long-term academic growth. Although the work that we do is slightly different to that of the Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss, our goal of bettering the lives of the deaf and hard of hearing community is the same. With this, we greatly appreciate the work that the Global Foundation is doing and look forward to watching them continue to make a difference in the lives of hard of hearing youth worldwide!
For more information about the Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss, please refer to their website.