US inaugurates hearing test center in Batangas

Published January 25, 2023, 3:39 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

The US has inaugurated a hearing test facility in Batangas province as part of its multi-million program to help children with vision and heating disabilities.

Ryan Washburn, director of US Agency for International Development (USAID), and Batangas Gov. Hermilando Mandanas led on Jan. 13 the opening ceremony of the center, which houses an audiometer and hearing test devices donated by the US government.

Photo courtesy of US Embassy in Manila

Washburn also visited the nearby Inclusive Education Community Resource Center (IECRC) in Batangas City East Elementary School, where he turned over Filipino Sign Language storybooks to Department of Education (DepEd) officials.

IECRC houses US-donated braille embossers and other assistive devices used by teachers to produce learning materials for young students with visual and hearing impairments.

According to the US Embassy in Manila, the two facilities are part of USAID’s four-year, P112 million ($2.05 million) Gabay project.

The initiative aims to increase the access of blind, deaf, and deafblind children to quality education.

“USAID is deeply committed to the inclusion of people who have vision and hearing disabilities and those who advocate and offer services on behalf of people with disabilities,” Washburn said.

“This commitment extends from the design to the implementation of our programs that advocate for people with disabilities,” he added.