In a densely populated country where half the population lives in poverty and 60% of people are illiterate, hearing impaired children have few resources. Hearing impairment is often caused by malnutrition, untreated ear infections, or high fever from diseases such as typhoid. Uneducated people often view disabilities like hearing impairment as a curse. They become isolated from their families and ostracized from their community.
World Concern provides education for hearing impaired children through Hear Schools. With the help of hearing aids and specially trained teachers, children are taught to hear their own voices and learn to speak, read and write. Children may then be integrated with regular schools, and communicate with their families and communities. Children are referred through audiology clinics, or by attending one of the Hear Schools' annual camps, which serve 150 children each year.
Fewer than one percent of Bangladesh's two-million-plus hearing impaired receive the resources they need to communicate effectively. World Concern's Hear Schools are located in urban and rural areas. World Concern also operates audiology centers, which provide hearing assessments and consultation to more than 2,000 hearing impaired children each year. When children learn to speak, read, and write, they are able to further their education and become productive members of society.