PHONOAUDIOLOGY FAVORS INCLUSION OF CHILDREN WITH HEARING PROBLEMS
THE UNIVERSITY OFFERED THE FACILITIES OF THE PHONOAUDIOLOGY CLINIC AND THE SKILLS OF ITS ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL STAFF.
October 10, 2017
Inclusion and a better quality of life for Maulean schoolchildren with hearing disabilities is the objective of the joint effort made by our University and the National Board of School Assistance and Scholarships, expressed in an agreement for the implementation of silent chamber audiometry and hearing aid adaptation plans.
The signing of this agreement is interpreted as a new expression of the commitment of the university, as a public university, with the needs of the inhabitants of the region.
The signing of the document, which was held at the Bicentennial auditorium, was attended by President Alvaro Rojas and the Executive Director of Junaeb, Jaime Toha. Among other public authorities, were also present the Education Regional Deputy Secretary Rigoberto Espinoza and the Social Development Regional Deputy Secretary, José Ramón Letelier and representatives of the academia, among them, the director of the School of Phonoaudiology, Exequiel Plaza.
The formalization of the above-mentioned agreement has its genesis in the Junaeb’s project "Adaptation of Schoolchildren Hearing Aids", awarded in 2008 to the School of Phonoaudiology, an initiative that was extended in a collaborative work characterized by high levels of quality in the services and satisfaction of the beneficiaries.
These actions allow Maulean schoolchildren to adapt the hearing aids that Junaeb gives them, to learn how to use them correctly and to keep them in an appropriate manner. To that end, our University puts at the disposal of these children, at all levels, both in the municipal and subsidized private education, the Phonoaudiology Clinic facilities and the skills of their academics and professionals.
The president emphasized that these services arise from the conception of the UTALCA "as a public university that is committed to its community."
"Today, the social responsibility of the university with the environment, the problems of the people and the search for an academic, technical and scientific solution, is a fundamental motivation and is part of our corporate mission. That’s why we are here, it is for that that we were created and therefore we feel it is a support in all the major issues of the Maule Region," said Rojas.
For his part, Jaime Toha stressed that "this agreement with one of the country's most prestigious universities ensures that the settings that students require, which is the calibration of their hearing devices, is going to be done with the highest standards in the country." He added that "the facilities the University of Talca are a pride, as well as being able to deliver this quality."
"What we seek is that there is equality of conditions so that students can pursue their educational processes, stay in them and to finish successfully. What is more important than being able to hear well!" he said.
Toha said that with the collaboration between the two institutions it not only ensures the delivery of hearing aids for children who need them, but also the technical support on the part of the university.
The director of the School of Phonoaudiology, Exequiel Plaza, made a presentation of the study conducted by the unit, with resources from the Ministry of Social Development, to meet the educational and social impact of using hearing aids for students with hearing disabilities.
This social innovation initiative, the first of its kind in the country, according to Plaza, "allowed to embrace the diversity of our region and to achieve results for appropriate decision-making policies about where to put the resources to improve the quality of life of the students, their capacities to study, to achieve greater equity and, mainly, inclusion."
"Social programs usually measure only coverage and, in this case, we went beyond," he said.
That way, based on the results achieved, he stated that measures may be taken to close the gaps that were identified in the study, which showed the needs in training for teachers, the difficulties in geographical access for students to benefit from this plan of adaptation "and also strive to ensure that technology, which is accessible in our country, is also available for students to use in situations of hearing impairment".
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