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Hearing-impaired children's painting exhibition begins

2011/06/25 20:38:57

Taipei, June 25 (CNA) A painting exhibition featuring artwork by hearing-impaired children began Saturday in Taipei and will tour the country until the end of October, a local foundation said that day.

The exhibition, which showcases the work of 32 winners from among 52 young participants, is part of the 15th birthday celebrations of the Children's Hearing Foundation, said Jamey Yeh, the foundation's executive officer, at a press conference in Taipei.

Yeh told CNA that the exhibition is aimed at exploring the talents of the children it is helping.

Using auditory-verbal therapy developed in Canada, the foundation has helped more than 3,000 children with hearing loss over the years, she said, adding that her foundation is a turning point that helps such children in Taiwan listen and speak rather than using sign language or reading lips.

"It has been like a technology transfer, as the two languages are very different," she said. "Even now, we are still working to refine it with research and development."

"We just want hearing-impaired children to grow up as normal ones. They can listen, speak and live like everyone else. For them, the world is no longer limited," Yeh added.

About 95 percent of hearing-impaired children can still develop hearing ability, the foundation said, adding that even those with severe hearing loss can still learn to listen and speak with proper assistance and treatment.

Chang Wei, whose son suffers severe hearing loss, expressed her gratitude to the foundation and said she has been gratified to see her child improving substantially.

"In the beginning, I was like a helpless parent and felt very depressed," she said, adding that after a year of struggle, she decided to follow the program and instructions the foundation provided.

"My boy now is more outgoing and outspoken. He gets along well with his peers at school," Chang said.

Few were able to tell that 5-year-old Huang Chin-chen is almost deaf without his hearing aid, especially when he explained his prize-winning painting fluently.

"I want to be a famous baker because I enjoy chocolate cake very much. I will make many delicious cakes and share them with everyone," Huang said.

The exhibition runs until June 28 at Taipei City Hall and will continue in the northeastern county of Yilan and the southern city of Kaohsiung before finishing in the northern city of Taoyuan.

In addition, to highlight the fact that hearing-impaired children can express themselves clearly and to coincide with the foundation's birthday, they will perform a play in both Taipei and Kaohsiung later this year.

(By James Lee)