This week’s Hearing International has been in the making for a few weeks. This week’s post is by Dr. Jackie Clark presenting the Coalition for Global hearing Health and its conference coming up in October.
This 6th Coalition for Global Hearing Health Conference, hosted at Gallaudet University from October 9th – 10th, 2015, promises to exceed all of its own past conference records from numbers of: attendees, numbers of presentations, countries represented, to engaging pre-conference activities. Each year, the number of countries, organizations and disciplines represented continues to grow. With the Foundation’s aim of “Making Hearing Health a Global Priority”, the Coalition for Global Hearing Health has successfully engaged professionals in audiology, otolaryngology, speech pathology, teachers, policy makers, academicians, philanthropic organizations, industry as well as family members for gso days of sharing about the challenges and solutions involved in access and establishing sustainable services for ear and hearing health in under resourced regions.
This year’s Keynote Speaker, Mr. Francois Goudenove, is a highly respected 2010 Ashoka Fellow, who developed a comprehensive set of tools that enable deaf people to broadly communicate using sign language. Examples of his innovations that have revolutionized daily activities of deaf people include: new ways to make video phone calls, providing live news website in sign language (WEBSOURD), and using sign language interpreter avatars on large monitors throughout Charles de Gaulle International Airport, and other mass transit stations. Another respected invited speaker will be Dr. Shelly Chadha, the Technical Officer of Deafness and Blindness at the World Health Organization who will be presenting on Promoting Ear and Hearing Care in Countries: Principles and Strategies. A call for oral and poster presentations is currently in progress, but an attendee will be certain to receive a broad scope of presentations including: overcoming cultural challenges, identifying and provision of services for infant hearing screening programs, and provision of sign language in communities, social business models, mobile health provision, medical management of chronic diseases, etc.
Internationally renowned speakers will provide pre-conference workshops on Thursday, 8-October (for a small additional fee) that include: Creating and Sustaining a Successful Earmold Lab (David Pither); Family Support & Empowerment Considerations within Humanitarian Efforts (Sheila Moodie, Lisa Kovac); Public Health Planning for Hearing Impairment (Andrew Smith & Daksha Patel); Plan and Deploy a Successful Humanitarian Program; Enhancing Visual Language and Learning Skills (Beth Benedict).
All registration for pre-conference, conference and conveniently located lodging (Gallaudet’s Kellogg Conference Hotel) can be completed through www.cghh.usu.edu. Abstracts for conference oral or poster presentations will be accepted through mid-June. As in past conferences, lively discussions will be focused around the number of oral and poster presentations. Also, as in past conferences, with the benefit of lodging facilities being reasonably priced and in such close proximity to the plenary sessions, it is anticipated the networking and discussions will continue well into each evening.
The dream of forming of the Coalition for Global Hearing Health came to fruition after a flurry of emails and eventual meeting in 2007 between Jackie Clark, representing the Humanitarian Committee of the International Society of Audiology, and Jim Saunders, representing the International and Humanitarian Concerns Committee of the American Academy of Otolaryngology. Both had been actively engaged in separate humanitarian outreach projects since 1998, and envisioned a mechanism for networking opportunities and establishing and promoting strategic sustainable guidance for humanitarian outreach programs. In 2008, a group of interested people from different disciplines met at Alexander Graham Bell Offices in Washington, D.C. and agreed to the importance of creating a foundation for Ear and Hearing Healthcare Humanitarians that would focus on: influencing policy on global levels, providing professional networking opportunities, produce and disseminate information, create web-based educational and training programs, and encourage culturally sensitive ethical conduct and best practices.
By 2010, the inaugural conference of the Coalition for Global Hearing Health, attended by multi-disciplinary representatives of 25 countries, was held at the American Academy of Otolaryngology Headquarters. Since then, annual conferences have convened in other notable facilities: House Ear Institute; Eduplex in Pretoria, South Africa; Vanderbilt University; and St. Catherine’s at Oxford in UK. Regardless of venue, each of the 2-day conferences garners a large multi-disciplinary international attendance with audiologists, otolaryngologists, deaf educators, families of deaf and hard of hearing individuals, individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, nurses, philanthropic organizations, industry leaders, physicians, psychologists, academics, etc. All attendees and presenters either live or provide hearing healthcare services or products in developing countries.
The current Board of Directors for the Coalition for Global Hearing Health (Co-Directors/Co-Founders – James Saunders, MD & Jackie Clark, PhD; Treasurer – Karl White, PhD; Members at Large – Lisa Kovac, Paige Stringer and David Molter, MD) continues to aim its focus on the purpose of advocating for hearing health services and policies; to equip and empower hearing healthcare professionals, families, educators, communities and the people who are deaf or hard of hearing; and to encourage and perpetuate best practices. Individual and organizational memberships are available through the general Coalition for Global Hearing Health Website.
This Week’s Guest Author
Dr. Jackie Clark joined the Doctor of Audiology Program faculty in 1997, and is currently Clinical Associate Professor UT Dallas’ School of Brain & Behavior Sciences. In addition she has been awarded an appointment as Research Scholar with The University of The Witwatersrand, School of Speech and Hearing Therapy in Johannesburg, South Africa. Dr. Clark is currently the managing editor of the International Journal of Audiology; the chair of the International Society of Audiology’s Humanitarian Audiologists; co-organizer of the Annual Coalition for Global Hearing Health International Conference; is a member of a number of advisory boards and committees both nationally and internationally; and maintains a personal philanthropic program in Africa since 1997. Additionally, Dr. Clark is a member of Board of Directors of the American Academy of Audiology and the Board of Governors of the American Board of Audiology.
Many thanks to Jackie from Hearing International for the preparation of this post. RMT