managed by S. de Kock (Communication)
Being part of the University of the Witwatersrand, the Centre for Deaf Studies' HI HOPES project is considered a public benefit organisation under Section 30 of the South African Tax Act. Under the direction of Dr Claudine Storbeck, a world authority in her field of deaf studies, and a champion of deaf education in South Africa for more than ten years, the charitable project, HI HOPES was founded by Dr Storbeck in 2006. This outreach programme aims to help deaf and hard of hearing babies and toddlers and their families. Dr Storbeck heads a team of dedicated professionals, some of whom are also deaf, and competent in education, audiology, speech therapy, sign language and psychology etc. The aim of HI HOPES is to provide comprehensive home-based early intervention and support to the families (mainly from poor and disadvantaged groups of the population) to empower them and help them give their deaf baby/child a normal life and childhood and hope for a bright and positive future. Early screening and testing and the support of Parent Advisors and Deaf Mentors are part of the project which now operational in three of the nine South African provinces.(Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal). With support for the project it is hoped that national roll out could take place within the next 8 years. Further information can be supplied to any organisation interested in helping this worthy project to succeed and to continue its vital outreach programme for our deaf and hard of hearing children. Worrying statistics suggest that 17 babies are born deaf in South Africa every day (this excludes loss of hearing through meningitis, ear infection, ototoxic medication etc.).