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Sign language – the key to education!

Sign language – the key to education!

What is it like to be deaf?

Imagine being a child living in one of the world’s poorest countries and being excluded from communication and social interaction due to deafness. Visualize how your everyday life would look like and how lonely, frustrated and isolated you’d feel not having the ability to hear nor to communicate.


Children with a hearing loss or deafness often don’t have access to education services in lesser developed countries. They commonly experience delayed development of speech, language and cognitive skills, which may result in slow learning and other difficulties in school. Human Rights Watch highlights children's challenges in the video below.


Hearing loss on children can be caused by:
• Maternal infections such as Rubella
• Meningitis, measles and mumps
• Severe jaundice following birth
• Birth anoxia
• Chronic ear infections
• Use of ototoxic medicines
• Low birth weight
• Noise

diagramm hearing loss

Approximately 328 million adults and 32 million children worldwide are living with a hearing loss. This is 5.3% of the world’s population. Thereof 700,000 people are living in New Zealand. Although these numbers are enormously high, globally less than 10% of people who urgently need hearing aids have one. In lesser developed countries it is only 3%. Read WHO's fact sheet.


What is cbm doing to prevent hearing loss?
Together with partner organisations, cbm supports health care for existing disabilities and prevention of conditions which can lead to disability.


cbm seeks to improve access to health care, education and rehabilitation services for persons with hearing impairments. We also aim to mainstream disability into all aspects of development and empower persons with hearing impairments to take an active role in their communities through inclusion in development projects and involvement in community initiatives.


How you can help:
Supporting cbm's work helps us to provide simple things like a hearing aid device and the opportunity of going to school for children and young adults. Then they can live independently:

School attendance of a hearing impaired child costs on average $50 per month.

A life-changing hearing aid for a child costs $77 on average.


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