Let’s break the silence! Identification-Therapy-Inclusion
Tirana, June 30 2022. About 3 in 1,000 children are born with hearing loss. In children, almost 60% of hearing loss can be prevented, if measures are taken such as hearing screening and improved neonatal care for every child. Hearing impairments in children affect their speech development, cognitive skills, social and emotional development. Due to lack of services and opportunities to develop, children with hearing impairments are less likely to attend education and develop skills useful for their life and wellbeing.
To address issues related to the health and education of children with hearing impairments, Save the Children in partnership with Forumi I Pavarur i Gruas Shqiptare and supported by Italian Agency for Development Cooperation has implemented the project "Improving the life conditions of people with hearing impairment in Albania”, June 2021-June 2022. Due to this intervention, today all newborns and children can receive a specialized audiological screening, at the Audiology Cabinet in QSUT, a newly and fully equipped one with modern devices and trained medical staff as well as the primary hearing test at four Regional Hospitals in Durres, Elbasan, Fier and Korce.
For the first time ever, a new sign language education curriculum is developed and accredited by Ministry of Education. This curriculum will help learning of children who attend “The Institute for the deaf pupils” but can also be adapted for all other mainstream schools that can integrate sign language teaching for children with hearing impairments.
To share information about the progress and situation of the rights of children and young people with hearing impairments in Albania, Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development, Save the Children and Forumi I Gruas Shqiptare have organized the National Conference: Children’s hearing impairments-Identification-Therapy-Inclusion!
Minsitry of Education, Ministry of Health and Social Protection, Head of Hopsital Center of Tirana, relevant institutions, local and foreign experts came together to share the best experiences, practices and models in the field of Audiology and Education, challenges and obstacles children/young people face aiming to contribute towards the improvement of services education and integration for children and young people with hearing impairments.
This conference intended to promote the importance of improving policies and services for children and young people with hearing impairments, encouraging relevant institutions to support the identification, assessment and treatment of newborns and children as well as inclusion of children with hearing impairments at all level of education.