This spring semester, a group of Doctor of Audiology students from the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) will travel to Guatemala City, Guatemala, to provide hearing healthcare services to medically underserved populations.

The service team is comprised of nine graduate clinicians and Lindsay Bondurant, an assistant professor and director of the pediatric audiology division of the Eckelmann-Taylor Speech and Hearing Clinic at Illinois State. The team will provide a variety of free audiological services for both adult and pediatric populations, including hearing evaluations, hearing aid fittings, and aural rehabilitation.

This service trip is part of a semester-long humanitarian outreach course for second-and third-year doctoral students. Through the course, students are learning about major barriers to humanitarian service outreach and important skills needed to engage in outreach initiatives.

In order to fund the trip, students are planning a variety of creative fundraising activities including a CSD department chili cook-off, community raffle, and talent show. Students are also seeking sponsorships from local business. The team is aiming to raise over $6,000 to help cover the cost of lodging, food, and airfare.

“We are confident in our ability to raise funds and receive generous donations,” said Courtney Wallace, a second-year graduate student.

The team is scheduled to leave for Guatemala in early May 2015.