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FIAPAS brings together experts to discuss the challenges of deaf people

During the roundtable Scientific Congress: “Child hearing impairments. From Diagnosis to Educational Inclusion: Challenges and Future” different challenges were discussed such as technology for the diagnosis and treatment of impairments, the approval and evolution of early detection programmes for child hearing impairments, early intervention, the important role of research and genetic therapy in this respect and much more.

Moreover, the two day event held on 23 and 24 November also featured topics around the achievements and challenges in relation to the diagnosis and early intervention of childhood hearing impairments, the advances in treatments, the benefits of binaural hearing on information processing and the importance of auditory brain development as a language key for access to reading and writing.

The Aula Magna of the Training Centre of the Madrid Chamber of Commerce brought together more than 250 participants who listened and debated around four symposia that addressed the achievements and challenges in relation to diagnosis and early intervention, advances in the treatment of hearing impairments, binaural hearing and brain and the sound of learning.

The day began with an institutional inauguration, led by children and young people from the Family Association Movement of the Spanish Confederation of Families of Deaf People (FIAPAS), as well as the Secretary of State for Education, Alejandro Tiana, the Secretary General for Health, Faustino Blanco; the President of the Spanish Committee of Representatives of People with Disabilities (CERMI), Luis Cayo Pérez, the President of ONCE, Miguel Carballeda, and the President of FIAPAS, Jose Luis Aedo.

After the opening ceremony, the first symposium reviewed the Early Detection Programs, making recommendations based on the most recent scientific evidence regarding the inclusion of new technological options, the treatment of unilateral or asymmetric otitis, the study of methods and strategies to be adopted to reduce the rate of non-adherence (loss of cases in the process) supported by these programmes, congenital cytomegalovirus infection, deferred and unexpected hearing impairments and the impact on the quality of life of the child and his or her family.

Subsequently, a second symposium addressed updates in the treatments, reviewing the new indications for hearing implants, prosthetics and what stem cell studies reveal for the restoration of the auditory pathway.

At the end of the first day, the debate focused on the possibility of binaural listening, the new binaural processors for hearing prostheses and implants and the benefits of this type of technology for the stimulation of the auditory cortex in favour of adequate discrimination and auditory processing of speech in noisy environments.

The Congress closed with the symposium “The Sound of Learning” in which, among other experts, Andrea Warner-Czyz, from the Advanced Hearing Research Center at the University of Dallas-Texas (USA), participated.

To conclude, the president of FIAPAS, Jose Luis Aedo, invited the attendees to continue working and, aware of the current reality of people with hearing impairments, to “assume the responsibility of bringing it to the day-to-day families and people with hearing impairments,” highlighting “the commitment of the family as a fundamental pillar in the success of children.

This event, which took place within the framework of a collaboration agreement between FIAPAS and the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MEFP) of the Government of Spain, with the support of Fundación ONCE, took place as one of the actions commemorating the 40th Anniversary of FIAPAS.