July 26, 2007,

The first Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) conference, Building Bridges in Africa: Early Childhood Development for a Child with a Hearing Loss," will be Aug. 13-14 at the Emperors Palace, Johannesburg, South Africa. The official conference language will be English and South African Sign Language Interpreters will be provided.

One of the event’s aims is to highlight EHDI (Early Hearing Detection and Intervention) as a
critical factor for success within the field of deafness. The conference is also designed to facilitate a forum for EHDI stakeholders such as parents and caregivers, ENT’s, speech therapists and audiologists, early interventionists, teachers, and others in the deaf and hard of hearing community.

A central focus for the event will be to initiate cooperation (sharing of information, data, research)between the EHDI-SA and Africa communities, such as the sharing of information, data and research, to bridge the South African and African communities. The program also seeks to create awareness and capacity development among personnel in the field of EHDI within South Africa and Africa.

The conference was created to serve professionals in the field of early intervention, teachers of the deaf
at all 43 schools and units for the deaf in South Africa, parents of deaf and hard of hearing babies and toddlers, D/deaf and hard of hearing adults, pediatricians and ENT’s, speech therapists, audiologists, health care workers at primary health care facilities, policy makers and other interested parties.

A gala dinner celebrating deaf art and deaf drama will be held to create awareness of the need for early EHDI in South Africa.

Event details and registration are available at: http://www.wits.ac.za/conferences/buildingbridges07