Coalition for Global Hearing Health

Coalition for Global Hearing Health

6th Annual Meeting of the Coalition for Global Hearing Health

October 9-10, 2015  Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C

IMG_0967Mark Falk and Nancy Klos, Educational Director presented on the ‘Challenges and Consideration for Supporting Deaf Education in Nicaragua.’

Mayflower Medical Outreach Inc., began working in rural Nicaragua in 1999. In 2000 MMO partnerships with local entities began, first with Casa Materna AMNLAE, in Jinotega, Nicaragua, later on in 2001 with the Nicaragua Ministry of Health (MINSA) and Hospital Victoria Mota in Jinotega.

Originally the MMO project focused on hearing health care, ENT medical training and audiology clinic development. It soon expanded resources and services for deaf education opening the Albergue Mayflower, partnering with Escuela Max Senqui and Ministry of Education. Today, over 40 students have participated in the Albergue Mayflower, and students have developed sign language, developed rudimentary reading, and math skills. Today, the students have access to computers, some attend high school, others have acquired vocational training and more.IMG_0966

The presentation touched on Nicaraguan project challenges, from funding an international program, working with public education and social service systems in Nicaragua, lack of trained professionals and training of appropriate staff and acquiring adequate housing. Mark Falk is  co-founder of MMO and Nancy Klos, is the Deaf Education Director.

IMG_0973Anita Stein-Meyers, Au.D.-CCC-A and Debra Fried, M.S. CCC-A, presented on ‘The International Humanitarian Hearing Aid Purchasing Program.’

The International Humanitarian Hearing Aid Purchasing Program (IHHAPP), was born of the need to address the barrier to hearing aid fittings in low-resource countries. The program is able to provide low cost, new, digital behind-the-ear hearing aids to qualified members, providing humanitarian care.

Beginning in 1995 through the efforts of Rob Brouillette, such a project began by providing assembled hearing-aid kits for worldwide distribution.  In 2012, the IHHAPP program was formed and is under the administration of Mayflower Medical Outreach. To this date, the program has had a wide reach with recipients in North and South America and Africa benefiting this program. Anita Stein-Meyers and Debra are IHHAPP Board members.

Mark Sanders, Aud.

Mark Sanders, Au.D.

A Program to Educate and Train Audiometry Technicians in Nicaragua and the Development of a Sustainable Audiology Humanitarian Program

Mark Sanders, Au.D., is an audiologist at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston. He has been participating in humanitarian audiology with Mayflower Medical Outreach (MMO) since 2012. His work has been influential in the Audiology technician training program in Nicaragua, by educating and training new audiometry technicians in Nicaragua.

Mark Sanders and Debra Fried, have been working together in the development of the audiology technician training program in Nicaragua, launched in the Spring of 2014. The program aims to educate and train audiometry technicians in the country due to its lack of audiology training programs. Currently, Nicaragua has only one university trained audiologist and lacks a university training program. The goals of the MMO audiometric technician training program and means were described; to train technicians to carry out accurate basic hearing evaluations including case history, otoscopy, tympanometry, pure tone air and bone (w/masking), speech audiometry, etc.


Image courtesy of CGHH

The Annual Conference of the Coalition for Global Hearing Health advocates for hearing health services and policies, to equip and empower hearing healthcare professionals, families, educators, communities and the hearing impaired, and to encourage and perpetuate best practices to low-resource communities

Debra Fried, Nancy Klos and Mark Falk

Debra Fried, Nancy Klos and Mark Falk

For full presentations please visit