Improving Children's Auditory Rehabilitation - iCARE
- Initial Training Networks (ITN) - Marie Curie Action
- Funding Program:
- FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN, Initial Training Networks (ITN) - Marie Curie Action
- Research Area:
- Auditory Scene Analysis,
Hearing Technology in Biomedical Engineering
The goals of iCARE are to: - provide training to create a new generation of researchers capable of exploiting the synergies between different disciplines to optimize spoken communication in children with hearing impairment. - combine research across disciplines to develop novel methods, training skills and procedures for improving auditory rehabilitation and use the generated knowledge, products and skills to empower children and adolescents with hearing disabilities as well as their parents, care givers, educators, speech therapists, medical professionals and other involved persons. Hearing disability Communication through language is vital to develop and maintain everything around us. It is the foundation of our life and a basic human right. At birth about 1 out of 1000 children has a bilateral profound hearing impairment. This figure rises with increasing age. By 15 years of age about 5 out of 1000 children suffer from a moderate, severe or profound peripheral or central hearing impairment in one or both ears that can potentially affect communication, learning, psychosocial development and academic achievement. Without appropriate handling a child with hearing impairment will lag behind in learning and social-emotional development, with consequences for his/her social interaction and future employment. For instance, adults with hearing impairment have increased underemployment, early health-related retirement and sick leave compared to the population at large. Although children with hearing impairment can and indeed some do learn to sign, the vast majority also uses amplification technology because they want to communicate through oral language. In order to be able to fully participate in society, children with hearing impairment need to acquire full competence in spoken language, both receptively and expressively. This will also lead to better reading and writing skills. Inclusion The EU promotes the active inclusion and full participation of disabled people in society, in line with the EU human rights approach to disability issues. Due to the complexity of deafness full active inclusion in an oral society can only be achieved through cooperation and involvement across disciplines (medicine, neurology, language, psychology, audiology, engineering, speech therapy, special education). This requires a thorough understanding of the limitations and capabilities across disciplines, and across sectors where companies must better understand the interdisciplinary nature of the needs of children with hearing impairment. It is also much more economical for a society to educate both normally hearing children and children with hearing impairment together. The current model, which sees children with hearing impairment either educated separately or receiving lengthy special education services throughout their school years is not only cost-inefficient, but also may not allow these children to fulfill their potential.