INSPIRED BY HER DEAF BROTHER YARA HARB HAS QUALIFIED AS A CERTIFIED AUDITORY VERBAL THERAPIST IN LEBANON Congratulations to Yara Harb who has become the latest person to qualify as a Certified Auditory Verbal therapist – and only the second from Lebanon. Yara was inspired to become a Speech Pathologist after growing up with a younger deaf brother and watching her family struggle to help him. She explained: “I am a strong believer that deaf children can listen and talk like their peers when given the appropriate intervention method. Growing up with my younger deaf brother, we as a family were lost in trying to achieve that, until an Auditory Verbal practitioner guided us along the way “Seeing how empowered my parents were and how informed we got on the subject of hearing loss and language development, I decided to become a Speech Pathologist with the purpose of becoming an Auditory Verbal therapist.” Yara heard about Auditory Verbal UK through a colleague and was especially attracted to the training as she could complete it online from her home in Lebanon. She said: “My parents went from being lost, depressed and helpless to informed, engaged and being their child’s therapist and advocate. I wanted to have this impact on the lives of deaf families as well.” Her training with AVUK took three years and she battled with the instability in her home country and a temporary move to Canada where she currently lives. She has continued to support families in the Lebanon despite the time difference. Louise Aston, Senior Auditory Verbal Therapist and AVUK Training Lead said: I am in awe what Yara did over the last few years, despite so many barriers in her way. It is such a fantastic achievement for the LSLS Cert AVT global community, especially in a region where there is not a lot of availability of qualified AVT’s. Yara has such high ambitions for changing the face of deafness in Lebanon and will be a trailblazer for families and the profession in the middle east. I can’t wait to see what she is going to achieve! Estelle Gerrett, AVUK Trainer and Yara’s Mentor said: Yara has honed her clinical skills at every stage and is always keen to ask for clarification to ensure she has a clear picture of what she is trying to achieve and all in her second language. She has a wonderful soft guiding manner while ensuring the parents are clear that committed work needs to happen to move the children along. Her biggest challenge has been accessing audiological information and provision for her families and she has worked really hard to ensure that they receive the best service that can be obtained in Lebanon. She is a great therapist and I can’t wait to see her develop and flourish in our field. Yara added: “Auditory Verbal Therapy is a new intervention approach in Lebanon and my training has allowed me to break a lot of stigmas and stereotypes related to the abilities of deaf and hard of hearing children in Lebanon. Parents, professionals and schools in Lebanon, have a better understanding and higher expectations for deaf and hard of hearing children.” “Now I have qualified as a LSLS cert AVT I can’t wait to spread the word about Auditory Verbal therapy, open an AV centre in Lebanon to provide deaf children the same opportunities in life as their hearing peers and become a mentor in LSLS and coach rising therapists.” Find out more about training with Auditory Verbal UK to support young deaf children to learn to listen and speak.