network for people with hearing loss

Canada is the second largest country on earth, but what people in densely populated Europe associate with great freedom often means loneliness and isolation for Canadian children with hearing loss, as they hardly ever meet any other children with the same handicap as they have. They are usually the only children in their school with a hearing aid. Thus, an organization such as the Northern BC Children and Families Hearing Society is all the more important for such children. The Hear the World Foundation provides them with active support.

Place & Year

Canada, 2011 - 2012


Main Focus

Children Providing audiological care for children in low-income countries is a focal area of the Hear the World Foundation’s activities.
Professional training The Hear the World Foundation supports projects that enable continuous audiological training for professionals on site.
Prevention of hearing loss The Hear the World Foundation globally promotes awareness for the topics of hearing and hearing loss and thus actively contributes toward the prevention of hearing loss.
Programs for parents & families By supporting self-help groups for parents, the Hear the World Foundation makes an important contribution, thus ensuring that affected parents receive specific help and assistance.

Parents, education specialists and physicians at the Northern BC Children and Families Hearing Society have been advocating the creation of a place for children with hearing loss to go where they can meet their peers and feel understood and well cared for. “We want to give strength and energy to children who are deaf or have difficulty hearing as well their families”, explains Tana Woodward, the Northern BC Program Coordinator. After all, ensuring their communicative abilities develop well is very important precisely for such children, as these are the foundation stones enabling the children to find their place in the hearing society.

Adventure brings children together

Regardless of whether a weekend full of theater workshops, a three-day adventure camp in the Canadian wilderness or athletic competitions are concerned, the organizers come up with lots of things to entice the children away from their often difficult everyday life. In the most varied of activities the children learn to test their limits and meet up with like-minded people, as joint action experiences forge a group of children together more than conversations at meal times.

Parents learn more as well

While the children are able to let off steam in their free time, parents have the chance to borrow books from the organization’s library. From educators they can obtain important tips and advice on how to best support their children. Technical progress in the hearing aid field is also discussed together. Legal issues or school problems repeatedly occur as well, which the mothers and fathers would like to discuss with parents in similar situations. All the Northern BC members work in an honorary capacity. Hear the World finances the position of Program Coordinator Tana Woodward, as only in this way can the extensive program from which as many children as possible are intended to benefit be preserved.

A little boy with a difficult start in life

 Little Alistair MacMillan was born on July 8, 2009. Because of a congenital diaphragmatic hernia, his stomach and other organs were pushed up under his chest, pushing his heart to the left and folding his lungs together. Since then, the hearing of the boy has become damaged and even the doctors can provide little information about why that is. When Alistair was one year old, his mother came to the Northern BC Children and Families Hearing Society. Wearing a hearing aid is no problem at all for this happy little boy: “Alistair loves music more than anything and he already knows that he can only hear properly with it. This aid is incredibly important for us and changed our lives”, Alistair’s mother, Julie MacMillan, points out.