How Children’s Hearing Foundation (CHF) was started
Ms. Joanna Nichols, an American native, came to Taiwan in 1977 and started a career in international trading. She married Mr. Kenny Cheng in 1983 and co-founded a business. However, their daughter, Alana, was born profoundly deaf. Her hearing impairment changed their peaceful lives forever. Through a variety of channels and many visits to renowned doctors all over the world, Alana eventually received her cochlear implant in Australia and started her training in Auditory-Verbal Therapy. Now, not only can she speak fluently, she is also the host of a TV show.
In order to provide the same opportunities to other hearing-impaired children in Taiwan, Alana’s parents decided to devote themselves to the charity work of helping the children develop listening and spoken language through the auditory-verbal approach as well as training specialists to make the auditory-verbal approach applicable to Mandarin-Chinese speakers.
CHF has established teaching and research centers throughout Taiwan, including Taipei, Kaohsiung, Yilan, and Chung Yuan Christian University. CHF’s Taipei center—the first institution—opened in December 1996. In order to shorten the commute for parents and children in the central and southern regions of Taiwan, CHF opened its Kaohsiung center the following October. In October 2001, the Yilan center was established through partnership with the Yilan County government. In 2005, through collaboration with Chung Yuan Christian University, CHF set up the CHF Research and Training Center on the university campus. The Chung Yuan center focuses on integrating clinic-based teaching, research, and training, which is a new milestone for CHF.
The 4 centers in Taiwan have helped more than 4,000 children and their families.
In the future, CHF hopes to share internationally its successful experience of transferring the English oriented Auditory-Verbal Therapy into an approach that can help Mandarin Chinese speaking children. CHF wishes that eventually hearing-impaired children in other countries can all speak their own languages fluently and enjoy a life full of beautiful sounds.