IDEA News for the ‘what happened in 2011’ Category

Christmas Gifts

Posted on: December 16th, 2011 by Athena

Gifts for Bohol and Leyte in 2011

The deaf kids are were so excited when December 13 rolled around. They knew that was the day that “Mrs. Clause”, Marilou Drake, and her elves, the IDEA Philippines office staff, would be coming to their dormitories with loads of Christmas gifts.

Marilou and her Elves

 Most of the gifts that the team delivered were purchased with money given by the individual sponsors of the students and were specifically shopped for from wish lists sent in by the kids.  Even if the kids didn’t have a sponsor, IDEA made sure that everyone of the children got some nice presents.  There were smiles all around.

Marilou and the Elves also wished the students a Merry Christmas through caroling.  You may wonder how the students could appreciate the singing?  The carols were also interpreted in sign language and many of the students have some residual hearing so could pick up a little of the music.  In addition, all the students got new hearing aids from the Starkey Hearing Foundation just the week before so this was a chance to test them out.  A few of the kids had dramatic improvement and could hear quite a lot of the music.   Even if it wasn’t crystal clear for everyone,  it was the thought that counted.  Everyone had a great time.

The kids will be busy this week making thank you cards.  IDEA as an organization would also like to thank the sponsors for making this a Merry Christmas.

Here are a few photos of the event and also a video.


Bohol Deaf Festival

Posted on: December 13th, 2011 by Athena



It has been three years since the last Bohol Deaf Festival.  On December 6 & 7 deaf children and adults from all over the island made their way to the Bohol Deaf Academy for the two days of fun, games, presentations and fellowship.  For many of the youngsters this was the first time for them to actually meet the entire IDEA deaf family.  More that 400 people took part in the festival and despite the occasional rain, everyone had a good time.  A big thank you to Marianne Fisher for once again underwriting this event.  It is this festival that bonds the deaf from all over Bohol into a family and creates a deaf community like none other in the world.  Take a look at this 12 minute video to get an idea of what went on.


Here Are Some Pictures Of The Event

A big thanks to Steve Ocon for being the photographer and for putting together IDEA’s web sites.

“So The Whole World Will Hear”

Posted on: December 7th, 2011 by Athena



 Starkey Hearing Foundation

and IDEA Philippines Team Up 

To Provide Hearing Aids to Bohol

December six and seven were a whirlwind couple of days at IDEA’s Dao Diamond Hotel in Tagbilaran City, Bohol.   The six member Starkey Hearing Foundation audiology team from the States plus nine audiology student volunteers from the University of Santo Tomas flew into Tagbilaran, Bohol to distribute hearing aids.  The trip to Bohol for them had some drama to it as the airplane they chartered missed the taxiway and buried one airplane wheels three feet into the mud.  Luckily the landing gear did not collapse.  Finding another flight delayed the start of the mission by more than half a day but like real troopers, they hit the ground running and  worked late into the night to fit the crowds of people who were waiting eagerly to receive the gift of  hearing aids.

Along with IDEA Philippines staff, the team was able to fit around 900 people with aids in the short two days.  Bill Austin, the founder of the Starkey Hearing Foundation and owner of Starkey Labs, lead the mission and inspired the team with his super human dedication to serve the patients and his incredible stamina.  The teams worked straight though lunch and dinner without stopping to eat in order to be able to meet the needs of the crowds.  The sacrificial attitude of the IDEA staff and Starkey Mission team was truly awesome!

Bill Austin, Founder of Starkey Hearing Foundation

The two day event was punctuated with literally hundreds and hundreds of  “AHA” moments when either someone began to hear sounds they never had heard before or someone with slowly diminished hearing was restored.  Huge smiles where on peoples faces as they exited the distribution center with their new electronic hearing devices.  Small conclaves of individuals could be seen standing around talking to each other to marvel at the improvement in understanding of speech.  In the case of the sever and profoundly deaf students, they were realizing they could hear car horns or laughter of people around them.  Just being aware of the sounds around they makes there world safer and more enjoyable even if they couldn’t understand speech.   What a special time!

THANK YOU Starkey Hearing Foundation for this amazing gift of hearing for Bohol.  THANK YOU Bill Austin.

Getting Ready For Christmas

Posted on: November 25th, 2011 by Athena

Getting Ready for Christmas

There are no evergreen trees on the island of Bohol in the Philippines so having a traditional Christmas tree is out of the question.  This means that every year the kids up at IDEA’s Bohol Deaf Academy “build”a Christmas.  This year they decided to use a native grass and bamboo as the base materials.  The students first built the supporting structure for the tree out of bamboo and then cover it with grass.  This turned out to be a lesson in engineering because their first attempt collapsed in a heap.  As you see, the second attempt is much better.  Even the animals in the manger scene are made from grass.  Good job kids.