Finnish Association of Parents of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children (The KLVL)

An association for the whole family

The parent association for deaf and hard of hearing children, the KLVL, is a national organization. It has been founded in 1963 and has 12 local member associations.

The children of our member families are either deaf or hard of hearing. Also grandparents and other family members as well as other persons who work with our children can join the association. The amount of member families in our local associations is around 700.

Each member family has an opportunity to influence the future of a hard of hearing or deaf child. Together we can work efficiently for the benefit of the our children both nationally and locally.

Every child is an individual. We do respect the independence of each family and we do not make any decisions on behalf of the family. KLVL provides its members and all those who are interested with up to date information on the subject. KLVL publishes a magazine called Nappi which comes out four times a year. Families are also kept up to date with a monthly newsletter that contains information about our upcoming events and courses etc.

Kuuloavain.fi is a website hosted by KLVL and LapCI ry which provides a wide range of information for parents of deaf and hard of hearing children. KLVL organizes different kind of courses such as family courses, summer camps for children and their siblings etc. We feel, that families also need rehabilitation along with their disabled child.

Parents can support each other by sharing their mutual experiences. By meeting other families in our events and courses and in other activities both parents and their children are bound to obtain cherished moments and golden memories. KLVL safequards the social and legal interests of our children for example by giving statements in matters concerning e.g. day-care, schools or legislation. It also takes a position on a variety of issues and provides expert views as a contribution to the public debate.

We arrive at the best results by co-operation. That is why we co-operate with our health care system and other organizations in the field of hearing impairment.

The organization of KLVL

The association is based on the principle of associate membership and the families are members of local associations. Local associations are responsible for the activities of their own area. They also have mutual co-operation well as co-operation with local schools and day care centers.

The national association has two general meetings each year. The agendas of these meetings consist of issues such as financial matters, the strategies of the organization as well as the election of the Council of the association. In connection with the official meetings there are always lectures and discussions concerning questions of current interest.

The Council is responsible for the day-to-day activities and routine business of the association. The period of office of the Council is two years and it consists of 8 – 15 members who all are parents of deaf or hard of hearing children and are representatives of local associations. The Chairman of KLVL is also the Chairman of the Council. The Council can set up committees such as executive and financial committees. The Council has at least five meetings per year.

The headquarters of KLVL are located in Helsinki and the staff consists of Executive Director, Peer Group Coordinator, Office Assistant and an Organization Coordinator. The office staff takes care of the management of the association, plans and arranges all national events and classes, is responsible for nation wide communication, assists the council and local associations in different tasks and co-operates with them. A part-time journalist is responsible for publishing our magazine.

Local associations

The KLVL consists of 12 local member associations located all around Finland. They all are independent. If you are interested in joining our association you can do so here.

The local associations organize all kinds of activities, for example excursions, parties, bazaars and outdoor activities where children can meet other deaf and hard of hearing children and get new friends. The parents can share their experiences and have a good and rewarding time together.

The local associations help the families and their children in many ways if they have problems with for example schools and day-care. Through their membership in local association the parents can influence local matters. Work in local associations is done by members completely on voluntary basis.