Hearing impaired Cebuanos will soon benefit from the generosity of Starkey Hearing Foundation.
In the general assembly of persons with disabilities (PWD) at the Cebu Provincial Capitol Social Hall on Apr. 28, the foundation’s Cebu coordinator, Engr. Ted Segura, said that the foundation’s thrust is “not just to provide hearing aids but also to sustain the program.”
Individuals with hearing impediments just need to be organized and come up with a databank including, among others, contact numbers. Community-based partner organizations are also needed to sustain the program.
The program consists of three phases: identification and training of local partners, coordinators and community-based health workers (Phase 1); identification, screening and provision of primary health care services to potential hearing aid candidates (Phase 2); and counseling and after-care services (Phase 3).
GVSP Philippines has been tapped to coordinate with the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) for the initial identification of local partners, coordinators and would-be beneficiaries.
Starkey Hearing Foundation was founded by William F. Austin in 1984. It has already conducted global hearing missions in other cities of the Philippines in 2011, 2013 and 2014 and has so far helped 9,500 clients. Its next mission in the country is in November.
It aims to distribute 100 thousand hearing aids annually in line with its global hearing mission which is “So the World May Hear.” Its success indicator is “seeing a beneficiary get out from isolation and reintegrate to society.”
Because of its lifetime commitment, the foundation promises to provide, aside from the hearing aid, free batteries for one year which will be replaced by new ones upon the surrender of the old ones. Damaged or lost aids will also be replaced.
Segura said the foundation plans to make the country its center of operations in Asia.
The PWD general assembly was organized by the PSWDO and was attended by PWDs from different parts of the province.
The assembly’s business of the day include reorientation of Republic Act 9442 (An Act Amending the Magna Carta for Persons With Disabilities) and Batas Pambansa 344 (An Act to Enhance the Mobility of Disabled Persons by Requiring Certain Buildings, Institutions, Establishments and Public Utilities to install Facilities and Other Devices), presentation of the 2014 accomplishment report and 2015 plans, review of by-laws, and election of officers.
The newly elected officers are Gladice Dublin (Cordova), president; Jesus Pupa (Catmon), vice president; Jonelyn Moneva (Tabuelan), secretary; Jenita Arestang (Santander), treasurer; and Danuaria Adlawan (Aloguinsan), auditor.