Existence of learners with hearing impairment who can benefit from audiological rehabilitation for improvement of oral/aural communication in schools for the deaf in Western Kenya

Hearing impairment is significantly unidentified disability in young children. National statistics of learners with hearing loss show the incidence of concomitant disabilities as a common problem. Some estimates of the occurrence of additional disabilities in children with hearing impairments are as high as 35% and vary between 40% and 70% for those with visual impairments alone. Children who have mild or unilateral permanent hearing loss may experience difficulties with speech understanding, especially in a noisy environment. Such children require audiological rehabilitation (AR), a non medical therapeutic technique that aims at reducing communication deficits secondary to hearing impairment. To identify learners with hearing impairment who can benefit from audiological rehabilitation requires early detection and hearing assessments. Early detection, hearing assessment and intervention strategies are essential for successful AR among children with hearing impairments. Despite this, the services are not being provided effectively by special education and other relevant services in most developing countries (Kristensen, Baine, and Thorburn, 1987). In Kenya, Children with hearing impairments had been going through assessment services initiated by Ministry of Education, assisted by Non Governmental Organization such as Danish International Development Aid (DANIDA) since 1984. To date there has been no study on establishment of the existence of learners for AR services. The objective of this study was to establish the existence of learners with hearing impairment who can benefit from AR for improvement of oral/aural communication in schools for the deaf in Western Kenya. Audiological Rehabilitation model by Stephens and Kramer (2011) was adapted for this study as a conceptual model., Descriptive survey and correlational research design were adopted for this study. Target population comprised 18 head teachers, 188 teachers, and 318 learners with hearing impairments in class three. Saturated sampling technique was used to select 15 head teachers, leaving out 3 for piloting, and 318 children with hearing impairment in class three. Purposive sampling technique was used to select 56 teachers. Data was collected using questionnaires, and pure tone audiometry (Hearing Test) for children. Validity of the instruments was established by experts in the area of the study. Reliability was determined through a pilot study using test re-test method. Reliability coefficient for teachers’ questionnaires was .87, and head teachers’ questionnaires was .89, all significant at p<.01indicating that the instruments were reliable. Data analysis was done using descriptive and inferential statistics. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics involving frequency counts, percentages, graphs, charts and tables. The findings of this study showed that children who can benefit from audiological rehabilitation do exist in the schools. The study is significant because the findings are expected to contribute to improvement of skills of identifying and auditorily assess children with hearing impairments. Based on research findings, the researcher recommends that the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology through training institutions should provide pre-service and in-service training programs for teachers, particularly in modern methods identifying assess children with hearing impairments.

Author: 
Nyakado John Abuor, Adoyo Peter Oracha and Alloys Odeck
Journal Name: 
Int J Inf Res Rev
Volume No: 
02
Issue No: 
11
Year: 
2015
Paper Number: 
0662
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