TCHH has a vast pool of rehabilitation professionals available to help communities in need.
Requests for teams of professionals can be as a result of a natural disaster, such as the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, or the 2015 earthquake in Nepal. We also respond to requests that come from communities around the world, whether it be for seating, stroke, developmental disabilities, communication, hearing, physical or occupational needs. Take a look at which teams are working right now.
Our TCHH team has partnered with the Inspiration Center and BAPDA (Belize Assembly for Persons with Diverse Abilities) when working in Belize.
Our team has worked with children in Belize City at the Inspiration Center as well as providing day clinics in different communities throughout Belize. We have provided training to Inspirations Centre field officers on topics such as gait development and walking aids, wheelchair skills, wrist and hand splint fabrication, and aspiration management.
Rehab professionals working together
We are a team of physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, and wheelchair technicians. Adapting and fitting wheelchairs is a common goal of the children and families during our time working with Inspiration Centre staff. We also perform rehabilitation assessments and help create treatment plans for the children and their families.
We partner with BAPDA.
We have partnered with BAPDA to provide education sessions to care givers and BAPDA staff, community clinics, and home visits to assess and provide rehabilitation advice for adults. Together we:
Provide educational sessions to caregivers and BAPDA staff.
Teach basic wheelchair skills and provide wheelchair maintenance.
Teach about skin care, body mechanics, and adaptive aids.
Provide training about orthotics and prosthetics.
Wheelchair Seating Team
The Seating Team is a collaboration of occupational therapists, physical therapists, and seating technicians from across Canada that coalesce to form a fitting and teaching team. Creating wheelchairs that fit the person, and their disability, takes experience, skill, and creativity, as we’re often working with limited supplies and tools. The incredible life changes that can be seen when a person is fitted in the right wheelchair are enormous, especially in terms of the indepence and sense of inclusion they gain.
Providing skills within their own communities
In some countries where there are local people to be trained, we work side-by-side with them as we fit people with complex positioning needs. Creating sustainability by training local people to maintain and adjust chairs as well as fit future wheelchair recipients is an important role of our team.
Individual and family education
Teaching also extends to the families and the individuals who are receiving the chairs. Chair recipients are taught basic wheelchair skills. Accessibility is a big issue in developing countries, so they need to know how to maneuver their chairs around and over obstacles. It's also important caregivers know how to properly position and secure people in their new chairs. The supports we add to the wheelchairs are important in ensuring the person is best positioned for the whole day in the chair, and we ensure caregivers understand how the wheelchair support systems work. We partner with organizations such as The Walkabout Foundation to fit the chairs they are shipping worldwide.
Deaf Education Team
Our multi-year program helps deaf children have an educational experience on par with their hearing peers, so that they also can become self-sufficient and contribute to their communities in meaningful ways. We work within parent-run school programs or community schools, developing programs with teachers and parents that meet the specific needs of each community. With the schools, we assist them in designing and developing their own resources and curriculum that best meets the needs of their students and community.
We work in the spoken language of the country.
We work in the spoken language of the country (French/Creole or Spanish) and the local indigenous sign language. Prior to each trip, we work closely with each school’s administration and teachers to co-develop a teaching plan that best suits their specific needs.
We work alongside the teacher in the classroom.
We work in the classrooms alongside the teacher and do hands-on workshops for the teachers using the new curriculum and materials. We provide opportunities for the teachers to practice these newly learned techniques with each other before using them in the classroom. Information and presentations on hearing loss and aural rehabilitation are provided to families.
Haiti Pediatric Team
Our team partners with local organizations in providing training and education to teachers, therapists and parents/caregivers of children with disabilities. We support outreach rehabilitation clinics in care centres and remote communities. Areas include: speech & language, physical therapy, occupational therapy and nursing.
We teach occupational
and physical therapy.
In conjunction with local teachers, therapists and parents/caregivers, children’s physical and occupational therapy needs are assessed with therapy goals put in place for the following months.
We mentor teachers and therapy assistants.
We mentor teachers and therapy assistants on speech and language therapy and work with them to assess children’s speech and language to set goals of therapy for the following school year.
Haiti Rehabilitation Team
Our longest-serving project, since 2002, the Haiti Rehabilitation Team works collaboratively with rehabilitation clinics and programs throughout Haiti. Paired with our lead partner, Healing Hands for Haiti International, we are based at the Kay Kapab Clinic, in Port au Prince. Our team members focus on building the scope of rehabilitation services in Haiti, by providing training workshops for caregivers, community workers, and health professionals. The topics for the workshops are provided to us by our local partners.
Clinical assessments and therapy are done alongside local care providers, in a spirit of shared learning and collaboration. Our teams conduct these combination ‘training and care’ clinics at hospitals, orphanages and community centres in both the capital region and more difficult to reach rural regions.
Specialized rehabilitation expertise and skills.
Specialized rehabilitation expertise and skills are a key strength of the Haiti Rehabilitation Team; Prosthetics and Orthotics (artificial limbs and braces) and Spinal Cord Injury rehabilitation are areas that we have developed, particularly with the increased need following the 2010 earthquake. Experienced team members volunteered immediately after the earthquake and still provide ongoing support in building sustainable spinal cord injury and prosthetic programs in the country.
Hearing and Communication Team
Over the years, the Hearing and Communication Project has made enormous strides, thanks to many dedicated volunteers, local and community support, and a motivated and involved team. For more than 10 years, we have been aiming to develop quality services in audiology, hearing aids and speech language pathology, taking into account the real needs identified by our local partners in the field.
Audiologists, hearing aid specialists, speech-language pathologists and a specialized technician work together to move the project forward and we go to Port-Au-Prince once or twice a year.
Permanent hearing clinic.
A permanent hearing clinic, including otolaryngology (ENT) services, audiological services and hearing aid services, was created in 2013 with the support of our team. The permanent clinic is in a period of transition and is about to be relocated to the ORLO Foundation, which is now our main partner (Port-au-Prince clinic specializing in ENT and ophthalmological care). We provide the equipment required for audiometry and hearing aids, as well as the volunteer services of a highly skilled technician in the installation and maintenance of this equipment.
Speech language therapy clinics have been offered since the inception of Team Canada Healing Hands missions in 2004; and the speech language services have evolved gradually over the years. Itinerant services were also offered in various places such as schools, orphanages and hospitals. Training programs for assistants in communication disorders were undertaken twice, but failed to meet goals.
Finally, we offer education to improve public awareness on hearing health, hearing aids and on various communication topics. This includes the recording of audio clips presented on Haitian radio stations and presentations to ENTs and pediatricians.