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International Federation for Hard of Hearing People receives major funding for United Nations Education Programme

November 14, 2014

The International Federation for Hard of Hearing People (IFHOH) is thrilled to announce that the Oticon Foundation Denmark (Oticon Foundation) is funding its human rights work for the next two years.

 By granting US$121,567 to support IFHOH’s production of CRPD training materials, delivery of human rights training courses, and attendance at the meetings of the UN Committee of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the Oticon Foundation is recognising the capability of the CRPD to lead change globally.

IFHOH President Ruth Warick states that the funding is a global first for IFHOH and is a significant breakthrough enabling the development of materials for the hard of hearing community to utilize the CRPD as a tool for improving its human rights, accessibility and needed services. Resource materials will focus specifically on examples for the hard of hearing community and the workshops will provide national training for IFHOH member organisations enabling them to utilize the CRPD as a tool for change.

One area for global change is the uptake of hearing aid usage which is presently way below what is needed. According to the World Health Organisation, hearing aid uptake by those who need hearing support, is 13% in the western world and 3% in developing countries. “From these alarming statistics it is evident there is an inordinate level of unmet need for hearing rehabilitation globally,” Dr Warick advised.

In recognition of the significant need for information being available globally on how the CRPD upholds the rights of hard of hearing persons, IFHOH established a Human Rights Officer position in 2012 filled by Louise Carroll from New Zealand. In the following year, a Human Rights Toolkit was developed, focused on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

According to Mrs. Carroll, the Toolkit is a resource with particular focus on its application to the issues of concern to the hard of hearing community, working to dynamically change worldviews of people who are hard of hearing and their right to hearing rehabilitation.

Through funding from the Oticon Foundation, IFHOH will be able to expand its programme to develop a train-the-trainers manual on the CRPD, and workshops for trainers will be offered for participants in Asia, Africa and Europe as well as in conjunction with the IFHOH 2016 Congress in the United States.

The International Federation for Hard of Hearing People (IFHOH) provides a platform (across 50 member organisations in 33 countries) from which to liaise with international organisations such as the United Nations and national governments on matters of concern to hard of hearing people.