WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT THIS BUILDING?
Why is a good listening environment so important?
Children with hearing, speech and language problems have great difficulty learning when there is background noise present. Background noise can be distracting and can originate from the following sources: outdoor noises such as the sound of traffic; indoor noises such as sounds ‘leaking’ from one room to another (such as when you can hear people talking in the next room) or noisy fluorescent lighting or fans in a heating or ventilation system. Preventive sound measures were taken by BCFHRC in the construction of their facility to reduce background noise and any reverberation of sound (echo) - the covering of all areas of the building with carpet and underlay padding, careful placement of acoustic tile panelling to absorb sound, extra-large ducts lined with absorptive material in the heating/ventilation/cooling system, double wall construction with extra insulation for all interior walls, solid doors with gasket seals to further contain sound and a strategically placed vestibule, creating a sound barrier between our main meeting room and the potentially noisy waiting area. A special little house in the waiting area
One of the highlights of the new Centre is the custom-made wooden playhouse in the waiting area. Children are immediately drawn into this house because it is the perfect size to engage them and to enter a wonderful world of make-believe. The miniature house inspires many spontaneous conversations between parents and children, often observed by our teachers and therapists. The playhouse is a wonderful communication tool, helping us to gain a better understanding of how the child is communicating with his/her family.
Therapy rooms and classrooms
Speech and Language therapy
Cochlear Implant habilitation
Parent Training – teaching parents successful methods for developing their own child’s communication
Group communication development programs for toddlers and preschoolers
Parents, university students, and other professionals can sit in the observation rooms with two-way mirrors and watch sessions in the speech therapy rooms and classrooms. The observation rooms are very important for training parents, UBC students and speech-language pathologists who come here from around the province for advanced professional training. These rooms all have remote-controlled video recording capability which is used for teaching purposes. Main (multi-purpose) room
Used primarily for:
Parent Support Group meetings
Specialized training workshops for professionals (teachers, speech-language pathologists, infant development program staff, early childhood educators and audiologists travel from all over British Columbia to attend these workshops)
Sign Language classes
Cochlear Implant seminars
Board Meetings - Some of our Board members and parents that we work with have a hearing loss. This room was developed to be completely accessible to people with a hearing loss.
This room has three main Assistive Listening Device (ALD) technologies – infrared, FM and the loop system. Fourteen table top microphones and two wireless microphones are used by participants at meetings and presentations. Hard of hearing individuals are able to receive sound through the various Assistive Listening Device systems while the participants with normal hearing can benefit from speakers in the ceiling. The multi-purpose room has also been equipped with a ceiling-mounted TV projector to provide ‘real time captioning’ (like a court reporter) and a second TV projector for slides, power-point, or video presentations. Space for sign language interpreters is also provided next to the presentation screen.
In our previous building we found it quite challenging to have three or four spoken language interpreters providing simultaneous interpretation at a workshop or parent support meeting. We now have a small interpreters’ room with an observation window located next to our large multi-purpose room. The parents needing translation remain in the main room, but wear receivers while the translators retire to the interpreters’ room next door and translate into a microphone connected to a transmitter. If the parent wants to ask a question or add a comment, they just speak out loud in their own language. The interpreter then talks into a separate microphone and their English translation is transmitted through the ceiling speakers for all to hear.
Our provincial resource library holds many hundreds of books, videos and research journals related to the topic of hearing loss and child development that are available for loan to parents and professionals throughout British Columbia. Because it is so important to develop early literacy skills in children with a hearing loss, we also have hundreds of books for young children available on loan to families.
New outdoor playground
Children love our new playground with the playhouse, bike path, and equipment specially designed for very young children. Parents enjoy sitting with each other as they watch their children play and ride tricycles on the path circling the blueberry and raspberry bushes. One of our teachers has said that she has never before seen such wonderful interactions between children as when they are giving each other rides on the bike, and making up stories together in the playhouse…
Thanks to the Elks and Royal Purple and other generous donors, our dream of building a model facility for children with a hearing loss has come true. Our sincerest thank you!!