Amy Gillespie (Uganda)

Amy is currently a graduate student at New York University earning her MPH with a concentration in Global Health Leadership. She also earned her MSW from Simmons College, where she took her first trip to Uganda to work with local NGOs around issue related to HIV/AIDS and women's rights. Amy has several years of experience working as a social worker in various settings such as hospitals and homeless shelters. Her experiences motivated her to want to learn how to research, evaluate and create programs to provide support to vulnerable populations. She has taken the time back in school to explore many areas of public health and is currently interning at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene assisting with research around foodborne diseases as well as working as a Researcher Assistant with the NYU EMPOWER lab, focusing on women who have been victims of sexual trafficking and abuse. After her fellowship, Amy wrote: "This fellowship was not always easy but 'easy' things don't help you learn or push yourself. Over the course of the summer I've learned a lot about myself personally and professionally and I will take those lessons with me for the rest of me life."



Microblog & Podcast: The Importance of Hearing

26 Jul
Layibistudent2

A student with a hearing impairment at one of the schools visited

This WASH project I have been working on and blogging about is incredibly important. However, while I am here at the GDPU I want to use my time to shed light on other issues surrounding disabilities. After visiting 15 schools I have been struck by the amount of children I have seen enrolled in schools with hearing impairments. Lets look at some of the numbers of children in the schools that Patrick and I visited: In Awache Primary school with 900 students, 5 had some sort of disability and 3 of those were hearing impairment, in Akonyibe Primary, a school with 932 students-13 of those have some type of hearing impairment. One final example is at Primary Tegot Atoo Primary, which has 863 students and 14 have hearing impairments. Hearing impairment or hearing loss can lead to meniere’s disease and there are only some of experts for treatment for meniere’s disease.

These numbers may or may not stand out to you BUT one thing that is incredibly significant is that ZERO schools we visited had a teacher who was trained and certified in sign language. So in these schools that are understaffed and overwhelmed with meeting the needs of their students, the solution to helping children with hearing impairments learn is to put them at the front of the class. I had check over here about some hearing aid which has given a good result to hearing impaired. I found an interesting link if you want to see what trying to learn with a hearing impairment would be like. http://www.starkey.com/hearing-loss-simulator

Now there are a few schools in the district that are specialized in teaching children with hearing impairments but clearly there are many children that get left out. Why is it so difficult to find or train a teacher in sign language? Do teachers know what children with hearing impairments need in order to learn better?

For some in depth interviews check out my new podcast: https://soundcloud.com/user-410468818/the-importance-of-hearing

If you are interested in contributing to the GDPU please check out the Global Giving page: https://www.globalgiving.org/microprojects/support-children-with-disabilities-in-uganda-1/

Posted By Amy Gillespie (Uganda)

Posted Jul 26th, 2016

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