#hearUSA

A contact point for affected families

The inhabitants of the rural Berkshires region in the US state of Massachusetts currently only have limited access to hearing healthcare. To address this issue, The Willie Ross School for the Deaf is planning to set up a project that deploys qualified experts locally to help children with hearing loss and their families.

Place & Year

USA, 2014

Support

Funding

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.

Families of children with hearing loss in the Berkshires, located in Massachusetts, have to endure up to a three-hour drive to get their children examined by an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist or audiologist. All of the families are not able to travel such a long distance and therefore have to rely on local general medical practitioners. These local practitioners often do not have the necessary expertise to provide optimal treatment for hearing loss. To take action, the Willie Ross School for the Deaf in Pittsfield – a city located in the middle of the Berkshires – is planning to set up an expert service specifically for children with hearing loss and to support their families by arranging home visits from specialists.

Improving care at local level

Establishing a central contact point in the Berkshires will ensure that children with hearing loss and their families receive better support in future. This service is incredibly important, especially for infants and toddlers: children with hearing loss can only develop at an appropriate rate for their age if hearing loss is diagnosed early and properly treated. The Hear the World Foundation is providing funding to support the project.