New ear mould lab to aid special students
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE Ministry of Education’s Special Education Unit yesterday launched an ear mould laboratory that would help improve students’ hearing proficiency.
In a phone interview, Head cum Coordinator of Support Services for Students with Hearing Impairment Dr Hajah Norbayah Hj Shahminan said four hearing-impaired students recently received new customised ear moulds from the unit.
The ear moulds were created by a laboratory in Kuala Lumpur, after impressions for the moulds were made by the Special Education Unit’s hearing-impaired team in Brunei.
According to Dr Hjh Norbayah, the Special Education Unit’s ear mould laboratory would be fully equipped by 2017.
“At the moment, we take impressions of ear moulds in Brunei and have to send them to KL to be made and wait for them to come back to Brunei, which can take three to six weeks.
“In 2017, we will be able to take the impressions of ear moulds and make the ear moulds in our own lab within three days,” she said.
Dr Hjh Norbayah said ear moulds – which are attached to hearing aids – complement them by enhancing sounds that enter the ear via the hearing aids.
“Ear moulds need to be changed from time to time when a child is growing and that child’s ears change in size.
“When the ears become bigger, the ear moulds will become loose and cause interference to the transmitted sounds, and the hearing-impaired person may experience whistling and buzzing sounds that can become painful for him or her,” she explained.
When this happens, the hearing-impaired person may cease to wear their hearing aids and be unable to concentrate on his or her studies, she added.
“We will continue monitoring them, as well as identifying other hearing-impaired students in Brunei who are in need of new ear moulds,” Dr Hjh Norbayah said.
According to a previous report, 143 hearing impaired students were registered with the Special Education Unit last year, compared to 136 in 2014.
The Brunei Times