Auburn University provides hearing screening for children in Gua - WLTZ 38 | Columbus Georgia Regional News & Community

Auburn University provides hearing screening for children in Guatemala

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By Christina Chambers

Auburn, AL - Living in a world of silence is something Auburn University's audiology program is trying to break.

Auburn University's Kelly Watts says, "If a child can't hear, they don't develop language normally because if you don't hear it you're not going to repeat it as far as education goes, they don't learn to read, they don't learn to write."

Auburn University is providing hearing screenings and hearing aids for inner city children in Guatemala.

Watts explains, "Most of these kids are street kids, in fact some of their moms are prostitutes or they sell gum on the street or things like that to make ends meet, we don't ask for any compensation."

Students and faculty have been traveling to Guatemala every year since 2009.

"It's good to keep check on our kids, we go to Guatemala once a year to check on them," Watts says.

So here's where the Internet comes into play. Students can conduct hearing tests via video chat whenever they want instead of once a year.

Five year old Yeraldi Moran is participating in the study. She has moderate hearing loss.

Watts explains, "She was tested in May and we are just making sure her hearing hasn't declined."

Although Yeraldi was sick with the flu on Wednesday, she will be tested next month.

The university conducts hearing test on three to four children a month.

Audiologists from Auburn University are working in partnership with the municipality of Guatemala city.

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