UNFORTUNATELY THIS PROJECT IS INACTIVE AT THE CURRENT TIME DUE TO LACK OF FUNDING
In 1999, we began our Jamaica Mission Project and partnered with the Caribbean Christian Center for the Deaf (CCCD). For over a decade, teams of volunteer audiologists have traveled to the school to perform audiological evaluations, check previously-fitted aids and fit new hearing aids as needed. We have provided over 400 children with hearing aids since beginning this program.
This project is very special because it allows many children to hear speech for the first time. Although the school continues to use sign language as the primary mode of communication, providing children with hearing aids greatly improves their ability to develop language skills that will provide them with more opportunities and an improved quality of life.
A unique opportunity…
Jamaican families traditionally care for their deaf children with essentially no help from social service agencies and minimal government support, although hearing loss accounts for half of all birth defects in Jamaica. Additionally, there is a higher incidence of maternal rubella and infections such as meningitis that can cause hearing loss and deafness upon the birth of a child.
In addition to the limited government assistance, there is not a national standard for the training of audiologists; therefore, individuals practicing audiology have varying qualifications. All audiological services in the country are provided privately with no government assistance programs for the purchase of hearing aids. Transportation in rural areas to audiology centers in prohibitive and many parents are unable to acquire or maintain a hearing aid for their children.
For more information about how you can get involved with this project, please email us. Click on the link below to see pictures and read more about this unique project.
Audiology Odyssey – In Pictures
Pictures and stories of our Jamaica Mission Project
Published in the ASHA Leader, March 2012