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Parents attending WHO meeting in Geneva

03 July, 2018 Ann Porter Parents

3 July 2018: Representatives from the Global Coalition of Parents of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children (GPODHH) will be attending the 3rd Stakeholder’s Meeting for the WHO Programme on Prevention of Deafness and Hearing Loss on July 3 & 4, 2018, at WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. 

With funding from Aussie Deaf Kids - a GPODHH member organisation - two GPODHH parent leaders will be representing the group’s agenda at the WHO meeting: Bianca Birdsey, MD, the mother of three deaf daughters and Director of South Africa’s Thrive program; and Anisa Ibrahimovic, the mother of a deaf son and an attorney who helped initiate Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Universal Neonatal Hearing Screening project. Birdsey and Ibrahimovic are bringing the perspective and agenda of parents to WHO discussions regarding prevention of deafness and hearing loss.

Research shows that the outcome of children who are deaf or hard of hearing depends on the support provided to their parents and families.1 GPODHH is the only worldwide network of parents of children with deafness or hearing loss joined in advocacy and support regardless of the mode or method of communication used by the family. GPODHH parents function in leadership capacities in their own countries; currently, 20 nations worldwide are represented within the GPODHH coalition. The organisation’s mission is to promote improved systemic protocols and practices that encourage informed choice and the empowerment of families throughout the world. GPODHH’s Position Paper on Recommended Practice2 has resourced many early intervention programs worldwide. The vital nature of parent input into research, service development and provision for our children has allowed GPODHH to have a global impact.

Outcomes of this stakeholders’ meeting will determine further implementation of the WHO’s resolution on hearing loss prevention and promote greater engagement among all stakeholders. The World Federation for the Deaf, the International Federation of the Hard of Hearing, governmental agency representatives, and academics from higher education institutions are expected to join the dialogue in Geneva.

  1. Yoshinaga-Itano, C., et al, University of Colorado/Boulder (1996, 2006)
  2. http://www.gpodhh.org/position-statement-2010

Contact: Ann Porter, GPODHH Co-Chair

info@gpodhh.org or ann.porter@aussiedeafkids.org.au