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NSU Students Provide Hearing Aids to the Children of the British Virgin Islands

Audiology students help hearing-impaired schoolchildren, who do not have access hearing aids or audiologists

FT. LAUDERDALE-DAVIE Fla. — Students and faculty from Nova Southeastern University recently completed their second medical mission in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), where they provided schoolchildren with hearing aids and audiology services.

The Audiology Department at NSU’s College of Allied Health and Nursing conducted the mission in October to fit schoolchildren with hearing aids donated by ReSound Corporation. The BVI does not have an audiologist.

Because of that, hearing-impaired children must travel to other countries to obtain hearing services, said Teri Hamill, Ph.D., NSU professor of audiology.

“For some parents, financial limitations prevent them from seeking treatment for their children,” Hamill said. “Meanwhile, other children with multiple handicaps have difficulty traveling for treatment.”

Thus, Hamill took her students on an initial trip to the BVI in late February to identify hearing-impaired children who need hearing aids. The trip was initiated by Gennell Bowen, a 4th-year doctor of audiology student, who is from the BVI. Last month, the NSU group, including community preceptors, went back to the islands to fit the children with the devices.

The children were given hearing aids with remote controls and teacher microphones. The remote controls allow the parents of the younger children to adjust the hearing aids from a distance and it prevents the children from changing the hearing aid’s settings. The microphone sends the teacher’s voice by radio waves to the hearing aid during classroom instruction.

Hearing aids, testing supplies, and other accessories were donated by a variety of companies including ReSound, Trilogy Audiometrics, Westone, and Oaktree Laboratories. The NSU Student Academy of Audiology raised funds for the mission.

“This trip was extremely successful, as we were able to help over 100 students receive hearing aids,” Hamill said. “These tiny devices will greatly improve their quality of life.”

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About Nova Southeastern University: Located in Davie, Florida, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is a dynamic fully accredited Florida University dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs of distinction from preschool through the professional and doctoral levels. NSU has more than 29,000 students and is the eight largest not-for-profit independent institution nationally. The University awards associate’s, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, specialist, and first-professional degrees in a wide range of fields, including business, counseling, computer and information sciences, education, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, dentistry, various health professions, law, marine sciences, early childhood, psychology and other social sciences.  Classified as a research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, NSU was also awarded Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification in 2010 for the University’s significant commitment to and demonstration of community engagement.   For more information about Nova visit www.nova.edu.

Media Contact:
Ken Ma, NSU Office of Public Affairs
954-262-5408 (office), 954-621-7961 (cell), ken.ma@nova.edu