Home>Engagement>Aid Projects>North America>USA: pediatric audiology


fund to spread pediatric audiology

The Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at the Vanderbilt University in Nashville (US) is state of the art in early hearing detection and intervention programs. Their recipe is a fusion of parental support, family mediated therapy and timely intervention. This know-how is now spreading to audiology students across the globe thanks to the Judith S. Gravel Education Fund.

Place & Year

Nashville (TE), USA, 2015-2019



Main Focus

Children Providing audiological care for children in low-income countries is a focal area of the Hear the World Foundation’s activities.
Professional training The Hear the World Foundation supports projects that enable continuous audiological training for professionals on site.
Prevention of hearing loss The Hear the World Foundation globally promotes awareness for the topics of hearing and hearing loss and thus actively contributes toward the prevention of hearing loss.
Programs for parents & families By supporting self-help groups for parents, the Hear the World Foundation makes an important contribution, thus ensuring that affected parents receive specific help and assistance.

In 2015, the fund was created in memory of the collaborative spirit and international outlook of an outstanding audiologist and a former graduate at the Vanderbilt University - Dr. Judith S. Gravel.

Dr. Gravel had dedicated her career to pioneer and disseminate best practices in paediatric audiology. At the same time she was strongly committed to cultivate border-crossing research and education in her discipline. As she passed away too early, Dr. Gravel left behind the evident notion that children with hearing loss who are identified and receive proper intervention early, have good chances of becoming at level with their hearing peers.

Yet still, many countries today have a weak or even none existent framework for paediatric audiological care. The scholarship, funded in collaboration with the Hear the World Foundation, is an attempt to redeem this untapped resource of children affected by hearing loss. It will allow for international audiology students with exceptional academic skills who are not eligible for federal funding, to complete the graduate degree in paediatric audiology at the Vanderbilt University. In the spirit of Dr. Gravel these students are given a state of the art preparation to take up the lead in paediatric audiology in the home county and work for a future with better services for children with hearing loss.

The recipient of the Judith S. Gravel Scholarship of 2017 is Keerthana Velappan, a first-year AuD student who was born in Tamil Nadu, India but grew up in the United States. Ms Velappan completed her undergraduate degree in Children's Hearing Studies from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. She intends, with the support of the Judith S. Gravel Scholarship, to establish a children's hearing camp or hearing aid clinic, during or after her graduate work, in her native village in Tamil Nadu.