Helping Javanese children hear

Hearing-impaired children in East Java will have better access to services thanks to a collaboration between the University of Western Australia (UWA) and Universitas Airlangga. They’re working on audiology education and research with a long-term goal of establishing a Master of Clinical Audiology—Indonesia’s first audiology education program.

Other projects the team has worked on have included:

• developing a speech test for preschool children that helps identify hearing loss,
• providing a mentoring and support program for hearing health workers using tele-health and other technologies,
• establishing a baseline epidemiological database for hearing loss in children in East Java,
• and developing training resource packages for teachers who are supporting hearing impaired children.

“Hearing impairment without early identification and intervention not only impacts a child’s speech and language development but also their educational and employment potential,” says Dr Helen Goulios of UWA, the Australian lead of the program.

Helen and her UWA students are working with Benny Sampiwanto, Head of the Bureau of International Cooperation in the East Java Government; and Dr Nyilo Purnami, Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon at the Dr Soetomo Public Hospital and Universitas Airlangga.

“The key is to detect the child’s hearing loss as soon as possible and provide appropriate education and technologies,” Helen says. “This project has also given our students the opportunity to learn on the ground while working in East Java.”

The work has been supported by the WA-based non-governmental organisation HearingAID-East Java through the Sister-State relationship between the Governments of East Java and Western Australia; and by the Regencies of Gresik, Sidoarjo, Pasuruan, and Surabaya in Indonesia.

Credit for banner image: Uniview magazine, UWA.