“GIFT OF COMMUNICATION FUND” (GCF)
The Gift of Communication Fund (GCF) is an annual and criteria-based financial aid programme that is open to citizens of Malaysia who are in need of hearing and speech-language intervention services. The award of the GCF will be based on applicants’ financial status, commitment to speech-hearing service as reported by the applicant’s attending audiologist or speech-language therapist and other information requested in the application form.
All applications must be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please DO NOT send your application through mail. All paper applications will NOT be accepted.
All applications will be reviewed by the GCF Committee. Results of applications will be announced on MARCHES’ website www.marches.com.my. All successful applicants will also be notified in writing.
A. SELECTION CRITERIA
ELIGIBILTY OF THE “GIFT OF COMMUNICATION FUND” (GCF) APPLICANT
1. Presence of hearing and/or speech-language impairment, as diagnosed by an audiologist or a speech-language pathologist.
2. Evidence that the hearing and/or speech-language impairment has directly or indirectly affected the applicant’s:
• speech and language, cognitive and/or emotional development,
• ability to perform activities of daily living,
• livelihood, or
• quality of life.
3. Evidence or verification1 that audiology and/or speech-language intervention will improve the applicant’s speech and language skills; cognitive skills; emotional development; activities of daily living; livelihood; and/or quality of life.
4. Evidence1 of incapability to access hearing and/or speech-language intervention because of low income.
5. Evidence1 of accessibility to hearing and/or speech-language therapy intervention should the applicant be granted the requested fund.
6. Evidence or verification1 that the applicant will make full-use of the GCF to gain access to hearing and/or speech-language therapy intervention (e.g., proof of motivational level in therapy, emotional support and care from family, no intention to relocate during the period of fund endowment is be requested in the application form.)
7. Cost of treatment that the applicant can ask for includes the following:
(i) Fees for audiological or speech-language therapy assessment and therapy sessions.
(ii) Purchase of hearing aids, assistive listening devices or alternative and augmentative communication device (AAC).
(iii) Cost of transportation to access treatment.
8. The applicant must nominate an audiologist/speech-language pathologist who has agreed to provide hearing and/or speech-language intervention to the applicant, should the applicant be granted the requested fund.
ELIGIBILITY OF THE SUPPORTING AUDIOLOGIST/SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST
1. The service provider who is providing/going to provide hearing or speech-language services to the applicant MUST be a qualified practicing audiologist or speech-language pathologist.4 Ordinary members of the Malaysian Association of Speech-Language and Hearing (MASH) are deemed qualified automatically because of MASH’s professional credentials. Non-members of MASH will have to provide evidence of professional qualification.
2. Regardless of their professional affiliations, ALL audiologists or speech-language pathologists will have to indicate that they are current practitioners in either/both the audiology or speech-language therapy fields.
B. APPLICATION AND FUND DISBURSMENT
1. MARCHES does not limit the number of audiologists/speech-language pathologists that can work with the applicant, however for the GCF application and monitoring of intervention purposes, please nominate only ONE audiologist/speech-language pathologist as the liaison with MARCHES. MARCHES has the right to request for further information re: the audiologist’s/speech-language pathologist’s professional credentials or the institution the audiologist/speech-language pathologist is attached to.
2. The audiologist/speech-language pathologist must show that the consequences of the hearing and/or speech-language impairment endured by the applicant can be ameliorated by intervention. Evidence or documentation from evidence-based practice is encouraged.
3. The audiologist/speech-language pathologist must agree to continuously provide information (through prompt submissions of progress reports) of the quality service provision throughout the period of fund endowment.
4. All selection decisions are final, there is no appeal process.
5. Financial aid awarded for fees of intervention will be disbursed every 90 days after the commencement of intervention, to the service provider. The audiologist/speech-language pathologist will have to submit a progress report, together with an invoice to MARCHES.
6. Financial aid awarded for purchasing hearing aids, assistive listening device or AAC device will be disbursed to the supplier of the device, within 60 days after the receipt of an invoice for the device. The audiologist/speech-language pathologist will have to submit a progress report to MARCHES 12 months after the purchase of the device.
7. Financial aid for travelling expenses to the audiologist/speech-language pathologist will be disbursed every 90 days after the commencement of intervention, to the applicant.
8. The GCF is intended ONLY for hearing/speech-language intervention/items listed in the “Selection Criteria” and agreed upon by MARCHES. It is the responsibility of the recipient and the audiologist/speech-language pathologist to ensure that the allocation of fund strictly adheres to the agreed types of intervention/items. Intentions to use the fund otherwise must be consulted with MARCHES. Failure to do so will result in withdrawal of the fund.
9. The GCF recipient and audiologist/speech-language pathologist must inform the GCF Committee should there be indications or proof that the fund has been used for purposes otherwise specified by the GCF Committee or should the recipient cease to attend intervention as specified in the application form.
10. The GCF Committee has the right to withdraw the GCF should there be indications that the GCF has been used for purposes otherwise specified by the GCF Committee.
11. The audiologist/speech-language pathologist must be able to provide continuing service to the GCF recipient throughout the duration of the fund endowment. If the audiologist/speech-language pathologist is aware that he/she is not able to provide the full service before the application is submitted, then it is the audiologist’s/speech-language pathologist’s responsibility to appoint an equally qualified successor for the GCF recipient. The successor’s professional credentials must be submitted together with this application.
12. If the audiologist/speech-language pathologist has to unexpectedly terminate services to the GCF recipient after the fund is granted even though the recipient is still eligible to receive services, it is then the audiologist’s/speech-language pathologist’s responsibility to appoint an equally qualified successor for the GCF recipient and notify MARCHES in writing.
13. The GCF recipient has the right to inform MARCHES if he/she is not satisfied with the audiology/speech therapy services received.
14. By submitting an application, it is presumed that the GCF applicant and supporting audiologist/speech-language pathologist agree to abide by the GCF’s application and fund disbursement guidelines.