Celebrating ten years of service
The HI HOPES programme was officially launched in September 2006, but its history goes back to 1998 – when Dr Claudine Storbeck first realised her dream of establishing a unit that would strive towards equal opportunities for Deaf learners and their teachers.
The Centre for Deaf Studies at Wits is dedicated first and foremost to training educators of the Deaf, research, and global partnerships aimed at setting new standards of excellence in Deaf education.
However, the need to equip parents, caregivers and guardians of Deaf and hard of hearing children with the necessary knowledge and skills to develop their children, quickly became a priority.
Using internationally recognised early intervention training and materials developed by the SKI HI Institute in Utah, USA – the HI HOPES programme was born.
From small beginnings in Gauteng, where 17 Parent Advisors were trained initially, the programme has grown over the past five years to encompass four provinces. Already, over 500 Deaf and hard of hearing children have benefited from the programme.