To integrate children into mainstream schools successfully
This program covers all of VConnet’s work on improving access to and ensuring success of children with hearing loss within mainstream schools. VConnect has published a Mainstream Guide (have the mainstream guide pop up here when they click it) in multiple languages and aims to have a global reach. Through this Guide, VConnect hopes to achieve an inclusive, barrier free in environment in mainstream schools for children with hearing loss. This will be achieved through:
- Parent trainings that enable parents to be confident, be able to self-advocate for themselves and their child, be knowledgeable, and become empowered. This will also translate to the child.
- Developing curriculums for facilitators, schools, parents.
- Conducting self-advocacy workshops that empower and build awareness among communities (caregivers and children) to be strong self-advocates in their daily lives.
- Pilot Program that trains and enables local facilitators to build relationships and support local mainstream schools to work with students with hearing loss.
To build positive mental health for children with hearing loss and their caregivers
This program focuses on working towards a healthy mental health in the community by building the skills and abilities in families, caregivers, and children with hearing loss. This is done though the Outreach program and through the Support & Guidance program.
OUTREACH – Aims to reach out to those families, caregivers and children in need of mental health support by building a cadre of people that will actively facilitate programs around mental health and be a community resource for mental health. This is done through:
Peer Parent Support Mental Health Training
VConnect Foundation in collaboration with Ummeed Child Development Center is conducting a ‘Peer Parent Support Mental Health Training’ for 20 VConnect parent members to become Mental Health facilitators. The training is conducted online for 8 months through and being facilitated by VConnect and Ummeed with the aim to enable them to become a community mental health resource and they would conduct mental health workshops for parents/caregivers and children.
Support group for Teenagers and Young Adults
A support group for teenagers and young adults with hearing loss is being set up to empower these teenagers and young adults to handle their emotions and situations, strengthen relationships, build a circle of friends, advocate for themselves, and voice their requirements / concerns in a safe space.
SUPPORT & GUIDANCE – is the core support and guidance function that VConnect Foundation provides to its parents/caregiver community through chatroom groups, community platforms, networking, and other means.
The longest running program of VConnect, the core functions are to build a community that feels supported and to create a safe space for recreation and peer bonding for the community. This is done through parent networking, both digitally through chatroom groups and socially through annual programs or events. Another feature is of this program is providing guidance and counseling on various aspects of hearing loss, audiology, device management, therapy, allied issues and the holistic development of the child. This is done through regular experience sharing sessions at the Chai Pe Charcha events and during the regular events and workshops that are conducted, along with this informal one-on-one in person and phone support, guidance and counselling are done regularly by the team.
To disseminate knowledge to caregivers and professionals for the holistic development of the child
This is being done by creating information, building awareness and skills, and disseminating knowledge. The goal is to build a knowledge base and provide actionable information for parents/caregivers around the child’s holistic development and allied issues. This is being done through 2 programs Saath Saath Series and Vidya Series, where workshops, seminars, and webinars are conducted across an array of relevant topics.
Saath Saath Series -These are ‘Educational activities’ for families that provides them with exposure to new and different skill-based, co-curricula activities using engaging methods. This is a series where the caregivers and the children participate in different workshops together to learn together enabling them to bond through activities that are carefully curated to provide them with knowledge and skills in a fun way. Saath Saath series is conducted once a month on every second Saturday of the month. In this series we are encouraging our parent members to conduct workshops with the support from us, the intention is to encourage them to build their skills, confidence and empower them in the safe space of the VConnect Community.
Vidya Series – This aim of the Vidya series is to build knowledge and provide actionable information to caregivers around the child’s holistic development and allied issues by conducting workshops, seminars, and webinars across an array of topics. This series is being conducted by eminent professionals and is conducted once a month on the last Saturday of every month.
Parent Resource Center – Provides digital (online) and physical (offline) resources developed by VConnect and resources from other collaborators to build a knowledge base and/or provide actionable information for parents/caregivers around the child’s holistic development and allied issues.
To advocate the need for an inclusive ecosystem
VConnect is specific in its advocacy work and focuses its attention on newborn hearing screenings and financial support for medical needs related to hearing loss. All of this work is done with external target audiences. The newborn hearing screenings initiative reaches out to ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists and institutes/hospitals to influence government policy to make newborn hearing screenings compulsory. VConnect works with NGOs and other funding agencies, to support families in their financial needs to meet the medical needs of their children related to hearing loss so as to enable them to continue listening and speaking.