Help Kids Communicate was a project of TecNica in the 1980’s.
Terry Mitchell was the Project Coordinator who produced this brochure.
Help Kids Communicate
Children normally develop their ability to communicate through the use of their hearing. When a hearing loss is present, children need special help. In Nicaragua deaf and hard-of-hearing children can not realize their full potential due to lack of resources.
Help Kids Communicate/Aid for Hearing Impaired in Children in Nicaragua is the direct result of a TecNica volunteer’s placement at the Melania Morales Center for Special Education in Managua, Nicaragua. This new TecNica-sponsored project is an effort to provide exceptional children in Nicaragua with more resources now, when they most need them.
Timing is critical in the development of a child’s communication skills. Deaf and hard-of-hearing students will be denied access to full participation in their society, unless they receive special help to develop their ability to communicate.
The Children’s Urgent Need
At the Center for Special Education in Managua less than ten of the 150 deaf and hard-of-hearing students have hearing aids. Resources to keep even these few hearing aids working are scarce. Hearing aid batteries are extremely difficult to obtain. There is no equipment to check whether or not the hearing aids are functioning properly.
Most students, ranging in age from preschool through high school, have not even had their hearing tested. The extent of their hearing loss is unknown.
Although the students have developed their own sign language system for use on the playground, this is not used in the classroom due to lack of information.
There are no parent support groups to help parents deal with the challenge of raising a hearing-impaired child.
How TecNica is Helping
Help Kids Communicate/Aid for Hearing-Impaired children in Nicaragua is an effort to improve the situation for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. This project combines desperately needed material aid with ongoing technical assistance.
TecNica volunteers on short-term placements are providing the Nicaraguans with more information about: audiology, speech pathology, deaf education, linguistics, sign language, health care, electronics, and other related areas.
Another important focus of the project is raising funds for material aid. The students need hearing aids, batteries, ear molds, auditory trainers, and more regular evaluation of their hearing. The school needs audiometric equipment, hearing aid analysis equipment, ear mold modification equipment, teaching materials, sign language videos and dictionaries, and parent education materials.
What You Can Do
You can Help Kids Communicate by donating time, money, or materials.
The children of Nicaragua need hearing aids, ear molds, auditory trainers, and more communication alternatives.
The School needs hearing aid analysis equipment, ear mold modification equipment, and teaching materials. The teachers and other professionals need more training and information.
Volunteers are needed in the U.S. to host fundraisers and presentations. Volunteers are needed in Nicaragua to provide training.
These expressive hearing-impaired students have developed their own sign language system but it is not used in the classroom. TecNica volunteers are sharing information with Nicaraguan educators about what a difference sign language can make in the development of a deaf individual.
Help Kids Communicate is a sponsored project of the Institute for Technology and Development (ITD), a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.