Bengali Children’s Hearing Project
The Bengali Children’s Hearing Project was established in 1997 to provide a vital link between Tower Hamlets audiology services and the high number of Bengali parents of children diagnosed with hearing needs.
WHFS (Women's Health & Family Services) has seen a significant increase in the Bengali parents' understanding of hearing loss since the start of the project. There has also been a large reduction in the number of parents not keeping appointments due to the supportive relationship the project worker has been able to develop with families.
Disability can be a hard experience for people to come to terms with but a change of attitude in the Bengali community is happening. Families can see that children with hearing needs can succeed at school and in the workplace. A key element of parenting is communication and when this is challenged families need to develop other ways of communicating, such as British Sign Language and lip reading.
Although originally aimed at Bengali children, this project also supports children from all nationalities and backgrounds and promotes awareness of hearing impairments in all local communities.
“I feel the community needs somebody to advocate for them. I have a close relationship with the parents because when a child is diagnosed with hearing loss it is distressing and the parents have lots of questions which they might feel shy to ask the doctor about so sometimes they ask me for information. They contact me if their child needs an appointment or if they think their child’s hearing is getting worse, they can contact me at any time.
"As soon as the children are diagnosed with hearing loss and given treatment it is their chance for improvement and with parent’s support and our support the child can do a lot. Before the parents thought: "Oh no, this child is not hearing, they can’t do anything", but now they think differently. We give them lots of examples and I say look I am seeing so many children and those children are getting treatment at the right time, getting your support and our support and they are really doing well. So now they understand that hearing loss is not the end of the child’s life and with the right support - and if they use all the services - they can do it.’’
(Parveen Quader - WHFS Project Worker, Bengali Children’s Hearing Project)
For further information or to make a referral, please contact:
Parveen Quader - Project Worker
T: 07960 328 364