Celebrating a decade of service to families with deaf children
Over the past ten years, nearly 2000 families with deaf children have received free support from HI HOPES, the Wits Centre for Deaf Studies’ flagship community service programme.
When you realise that over 94% of deaf babies are born to hearing parents, and that 17 babies are born deaf every day in South Africa, you can see that there is a dire need for this service. Language development, and a family’s embracement of their journey, are critical factors in enabling deaf and hard of hearing children to reach their full potential.
Thanks to generous support from caring people like you during the past decade, HI HOPES has been able to extend its programme into the Western Cape, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal, as well as Gauteng. During September, each team will paint their province orange as celebratory events reunite interventionists, Deaf Mentors and families. Our dream is to make our service accessible to parents throughout the country.
The HI HOPES team comprises trained Interventionists and Deaf Mentors who offer home based support, free of charge, to families in need. Home based intervention provides vital support for parents faced with the reality of raising a deaf or hard of hearing child. The team shares unbiased information, empowering parents to make choices that best suit their unique child; language development strategies are actively pursued in the home environment.
Our Deaf Mentor programme allows families to learn from, and be inspired by, deaf role models – adults who are willing to share their experiences with families who initially feel a sense of loss and are often overwhelmed. We also partner with THRIVE Parent Support programme, which offers peer support by fellow parents.
Thank you again for being part of our success. As we look ahead to the next decade of service, we hope you will continue to support our efforts to reach imany more families of deaf babies (newborn to three years old) throughout South Africa. [ Posted 16 August 2016 ]