06 September 2007

Government supporting hearing impaired children

Screening of newborns, investments in cochlear implant services and increased support for schools are part of a comprehensive approach by New Zealand authorities to support hearing impaired children from day one.

The government of New Zealand is delivering a full programme of support for children with hearing loss. The programme includes universal newborn hearing screening for the earliest possible identification of newborns with hearing loss.

“The Labour-led government is committed to ensuring that children who are detected through the screening programme as having serious hearing impairments receive the extra support they need to build solid foundations for early learning”, said Steve Maharey, Education Minister.

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Allocations for assistive devices

Additionally, investments in cochlear implant services for hearing impaired children will be made over a four year period.

”The programme of screening and support means newborns will have better access to cochlear implants, giving babies born with serious hearing impairment the best possible start in life”, said Pete Hodgeson, Health Minister.

Other investments will be made in extra school support for proper follow-up services for the children identified as hearing impaired in the screening programme. The number of specialist teachers providing support to the hearing impaired children will be increased.

Source: www.scoop.co.nz, June 2007

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