Oberkotter Foundation Empowers Children with Hearing First

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Thursday, October 9, 2015
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Feature Story 

Oberkotter Foundation Launches Hearing First

AG Bell is excited to share the news that Hearing First, an educational endeavor of the Oberkotter Foundation, has launched. Dedicated to empowering children who are deaf and hard of hearing to reach their full potential, Hearing First is built around the premise that hearing is a foundational building block for children to learn to listen and talk, become healthy readers, and do well in school. As such, it is critical to know the status of a baby's hearing as soon as possible so that parents can access the services they need to achieve their goals for their child.

Hearing First recognizes that families and professionals are partners when it comes to seeking to improve outcomes for children, and Hearing First will serve as a digital connection point to link families who have chosen listening and spoken language (LSL) and the professionals who work with them with the resources, information, tools, community and learning experiences they need to ensure the children in their lives succeed.

As mission partners of Hearing First, AG Bell and the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management at Utah State University share the belief that children who are deaf and hard of hearing must have early access to the tools, resources, services and professionals that will give them opportunities to reach their full potential. We look forward to working with Hearing First to make our vision a reality.

"AG Bell is excited to be a mission partner with Hearing First," said AG Bell CEO, Emilio Alonso-Mendoza, J.D., CFRE. "For many years AG Bell has shared the vision that children who are deaf and hard of hearing today have a world of opportunities available to them through listening and spoken language. We fully support this important outreach initiative to empower families and to educate professionals."

AG Bell expresses its wholehearted congratulations to Hearing First on this new and innovative project and we look forward to collaborating with them to improve outcomes for children.

Visit hearingfirst.org to explore the website and sign up to receive their updates.

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Dr. Bell's Vision Inspires a Psychologist

A great part of AG Bell's mission is to constantly expand its reach to help even more parents and children with hearing loss. Dr. Ivette Cejas represents a part of our new board membership that brings this kind of unique understanding to our association. She is passionate about serving children who are underserved by healthcare, and finding ways to reduce the financial barriers to hearing technology. Click here to read more from Emilio Alonso-Mendoza's weekly, "Speaking from the Volta Bureau."

Newest AG Bell Chapter: Maryland and DC

Do you live in Maryland or Washington, D.C.? Are you passionate about advancing listening and spoken language for individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing? AG Bell is thrilled to announce its newest chapter for Maryland and Washington, D.C.! All are welcome - families, adults with hearing loss and professionals! The chapter is having its inaugural meeting on Thursday, October 22, from 6:00-8:30 p.m. at the Volta Bureau (3417 Volta Place, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007). At the meeting, you will have the opportunity to meet the chapter's president Carrie Nicholsen and her hearing dog, Lilly. Light refreshments will be served. For more information about the chapter, please email [email protected]. Please RSVP by October 15 to [email protected] or call 202-204-4683. Street parking available. We look forward to seeing you!

Apply Now: Parent and Infant Financial Aid Application Deadline is Today

The Parent & Infant Financial Aid Program is for families of infants and toddlers under the age of 4 who have been diagnosed with a moderately-severe to profound hearing loss who are in pursuit of a spoken language outcome for their child. Awards are intended to assist with expenses such as hearing technology, auditory support services, speech-language therapy, tuition, etc. This program is intended to assist families who are committed to a listening and spoken language outcome for their child or children. Today, Oct. 9, 2015, is the deadline to submit your application materials! Click here to learn more.

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Designate AG Bell for Your Charitable Donation

Are you a federal employee? Our children and families need YOU! Workplace giving plays a critical role in AG Bell's financial resources in providing scholarships and other sources of support to families. Help children #ListenandTalk! Please consider AG Bell as one of your charitable designations. Click here to learn more. Use code 11852.

U.S. DOT Officially Requires Closed Captioning in Airports

The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) recently issued a ruling that requires closed captioning on all televisions in U.S. airports that receive federal funding and experience at least 10,000 flights annually. All public-facing audio-video displays must include captions, whether they are at the ticket counters, security area, gates, lounges, restaurants, or airport shops. Click here to learn more.

Save-the-Date for the 2016 Convention

Make plans now for the 2016 AG Bell Convention on June 30 - July 3, 2016 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel. When you visit the Mile High City, the 2016 Convention hotel is perfectly located on a mile-long pedestrian promenade of outdoor bistros, microbreweries, shopping and entertainment, and situated in the heart of Denver's financial and business districts. Click here to learn more as information is available.

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A college graduate with a degree in vocal music recently lost his hearing in his left ear. Any suggestions to get him comfortable singing again?