STARKEY Mission To Jamaica 2005

The Starkey Hearing Foundation, which is based in the United States, conducts more than 150 missions in countries across the globe "So the World May Hear." These missions include giving away hearing instruments and promoting hearing impairment education. Since 2000, The Starkey Hearing Foundation has touched more than 78,000 lives worldwide and in December 2005 it was Jamaica’s turn to benefit from their generosity.

The targeted beneficiaries of this mission were four hundred and fifty (450) hearing impaired infants and school children up to the age of nineteen (19) and fifty (50) hearing impaired adults aged twenty years and over. Candidates were selected from schools and institutions across the island of Jamaica including orphanages and clients of the Jamaica Association for the Deaf.

Conducted in two phases, phase one of the mission involved a team of Audiologists and Administrators from Starkey Canada in conjunction with the Jamaica Association for the Deaf conducting diagnostic assessments and taking ear mold impressions from all candidates for hearing aid fittings.

Phase two or the return leg of the mission involved a larger delegation, this time including doctors and counselors from Starkey Canada and Starkey USA accompanying the team from Starkey Foundation lead by founder and Chairman William F. Austin and joining a contingent of doctors, technicians and volunteers from the Jamaica Association for the Deaf for the fitting of the hearing aids.

The mission was an overall success for all those involved and was enthusiastically welcomed by all candidates. A total of one thousand and seventy (1070) hearing aids were issued, serving five hundred and fifty (550) persons.

Due to the overwhelming response by the general public, there have been discussions about the possibility of a follow-up Mission. As the majority of institutions which cater to the hearing impaired has already been targeted, a second mission would involve targeting members of the wider public to generate the numbers required to justify its feasibility.

On behalf of the hearing-impaired community of Jamaica, we would like to thank the Starkey Foundation and Starkey Canada for their gift and look forward to their continued support and charity.

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