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Family centred early intervention (FCEI) conference

When: Wednesday, 28 June 2017 - Friday, 30 June 2017
Where: Off campus
Rosebank Union Church, Sandton
Start time:8:00
Enquiries: / (011) 717-3747

The Wits Centre for Deaf Studies will host a conference in infant hearing loss and family support.

The Wits Centre for Deaf Studies will host the Family Centred Early Intervention (FCEI) Conference in Africa, a first of its kind, multidisciplinary, multi-stakeholder conference in the field of infant and child hearing loss. 

Every day 17 babies are born with hearing loss in South Africa and this excludes the number of children who develop hearing loss as a result of meningitis, ear infections or ototoxic medication. Hearing loss is an invisible disability with which most families battle. Family centred early intervention is the gold standard strategy for Deaf and hard of hearing infants and children.

The developing world has a unique face; one that sees the overwhelming burden of poverty and disease consuming the bulk of medical and social services. Hearing loss is consequently not prioritised, resulting in many Deaf children not having opportunities equal to those of their hearing peers.

Themed Creative strategies, programmes and innovations, facilitating the practical implementation and practice of Family Centred Early Intervention in the developing world, the conference aims to explore how FCEI can be introduced in a developing setting through shared ideas, strategies, and commitment to families and children in the field of infant and child hearing loss. 

The conference boasts a cohort of international speakers who will address issues of early brain and language development, literacy development, parent perspectives, deaf infants with multiple disabilities, and many more issues.

More than 18 countries will be represented at the conference. Bobbi Cordano, who is Deaf and President of Gallaudet University in Washington, will present at the pre-conference sessions and deliver the opening address on 29 June 2017, entitled, Successful Deaf & Hard of Hearing Adults …. It begins at Birth.

Award winning Deaf artist, Tommy Motswai, who has graced international stages through his pastel artwork, will exhibit his work. Motswai’s work is sought-after by collectors and is in major public and private collections throughout South Africa, including The Johannesburg Art Gallery, SA National Gallery, and the University of South Africa.

Other acclaimed Deaf attendees include Janie Erasmus, Miss Deaf SA 2015 and winner of the Miss Deaf World 2016 title. Steven Barnett, popularly known as the “Silent Conductor”, will provide entertainment through his amazing music composition skills.

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