"I Want to Speak Up for Myself" Children's Hearing Foundation's 26th Anniversary
"There’s a power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s a grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become." These are the words of Michelle Obama, former First Lady of the United States. Today (March 10th), Children's Hearing Foundation(CHF), which has long been dedicated to helping children with hearing loss hear and speak, held the "I Want to Speak Up for Myself" CHF 26th Anniversary and Documentary Premiere. The audience watched the documentary, in which a child with hearing loss named Tong-ying spoke her name clearly at the end, feeling the power of "speaking out".
Many children with hearing loss took to the stage to speak up for themselves, and over 300 guests and families of children with hearing loss attended the event.
"I Want to Speak Up for Myself" CHF’s Documentary of the growth of Children with hearing loss
"I Want to Speak Up for Myself" is a documentary about the growth of children in CHF. It records the two-year journey of Tong-ying and Ying-yu learning to speak and faithfully depicts the parents' process from panic and self-blame when they learned their children had hearing loss to bravely accompanying them to receive CHF's early intervention through auditory-verbal sessions.
"I always fantasized that someday my daughter would become a normal child..." Tong-ying's mother gave up her career to accompany her daughter wholeheartedly to fight for a chance to speak. Her efforts paid off, and now Tong-ying's spoken expression is fluent and clear. In 2021, she sang a charity single "Happy Children Love to Sing" with ten other children with hearing loss, becoming a singer with hearing loss and performing at the premiere.
"Any day that we can hear her call us 'mom and dad' is enough!" Two years ago, Ying-yu's father told the film crew that he hoped his daughter would be able to say "mom and dad". At that time, Ying-yu's mother, who had come from Vietnam to Taiwan, and her father, who was over 60 years old, had just stood up slowly from the shock that their beloved daughter might not be able to speak. "Sometimes she is so noisy!" Two years later, Ying-yu's mother smiled and shared with us that Ying-yu always sounds like a small chief of village, micromanaging in her childish voice. But behind what seems like a complaint is joy and happiness.
Praise from public figures and celebrities, accompanying children with hearing loss to speak up for themselves and become who they are
For many years, the Children’s Hearing Foundation has been committed to helping children with hearing loss in Taiwan learn to listen and speak. Their dedication has earned recognition from public figures, who have accompanied the children to speak up for themselves and become who they are. At the premiere of the documentary "I Want to Speak Up for Myself," various public figures including Chi-ling Lin, Dr. Chung-ning Huang, and Bubble Brother expressed their support, leading 22 children with hearing loss, with an average age of six, to present a series of exciting performances with their own voices, allowing the audience to feel the power of speaking out.
Children with hearing loss perform the play "Secrets in the Red Box," earning praise from public figures
At the premiere, alumni were also invited to showcase their excellent oral communication skills, bringing encouragement and hope to the children with hearing loss and their families who are still striving. He Rui, only 15 years old, served as the event's host, and Presidential Education Award winner Chen Yan shared the needs of a person with hearing loss and the importance of creating a friendly environment. Rong-Jin from the accounting office of the Education Bureau of New Taipei City also gave feedback to everyone who helped them learn to listen and speak through their own performance, truly demonstrating the spirit of "speaking out is becoming oneself."
It is not easy for children with hearing loss to "listen and speak fluently," but thanks to the love and support from all walks of life, their families can respond to their gratitude through "persistence," making "being loved" the driving force for progress with sound and creating miracles of love.