The Global Coalition of Parents of Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (GPODHH) is an international collaboration of parent groups dedicated to promoting improved systemic protocols and practices which encourage informed choice and the empowerment of families with a deaf or hard of hearing child throughout the world.
It was wonderful to be a part of FCEI 2018 (13-15 June 2018 in Bad Ischl, Austria) - the perspectives and information shared between parent leaders, Deaf leaders and professionals were invaluable. FCEI provides an opportunity for GPODHH members from around the globe to meet face-to-face and make important connections with those in the field of providing services and understanding to our children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Attending the conference as GPODHH representatives, as well as representatives of their own parent organisations in their home countries, were Australia, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, Germany, India, Lithuania, New Zealand, Poland, Republic of Ireland, Romania, South Africa, Uganda, United Kingdom and United States of America.
Following on from our first General Meeting in 2016, FCEI 2018 has resulted in two GPODHH members applying for seats at the 2018 World Health Organisation Stakeholders' Meeting in Geneva, and an abstract being submitted from GPODHH to the 2019 World Federation for the Deaf conference in Paris.
As an organisation that represents families of children who are D/HH globally, the FCEI community's recognition of the vital nature of parent input into research, service development and provision for our children has allowed us to have true global impact.
Deaf and hard of hearing children are the very core of the work that we all do, and together we are beginning to change the world.