The work of the Village: creating a new world for children with hearing loss and their families

Christine Yoshinaga-Itano, Vickie Thomson
International Journal of Audiology 2008, 47 Suppl 1: S14-22
Though the health and economic issues in developing countries may create situations in which the development of early hearing detection and intervention (EHDI) programs could seem insurmountable, developing countries have some resources that are not easily available to those in the developed world. Developing countries often have well-organized communities in which members work together for the benefit of the individuals within their communities as well as a willingness to learn strategies that can improve the lives of individuals in their communities. Paradoxically, there also exists societal intolerance for disabilities that can result in stigmatization and ultimate isolation of affected families. Hopefully, education within these communities can begin to overcome historical intolerance. While some might argue that sufficient financial resources are the key to the development of an EHDI system, the Colorado system, although grateful for all financial resources, is dependent, first and foremost upon the human resources. This article provides information about the history of the Colorado system in the hopes that lessons learned will provide valuable input to others facing similar challenges.

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