AG Bell Makes a Difference
The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing provides support in many ways from information and resources through the Knowledge Center, programs like the bi-annual conventions, and various financial aid programs. The following letters are a few of the many testimonials we receive from families who have been supported. We are proud of the work we do, but there is much more to be done. We thank you for your continued support, and and ask that consider making a donation to help advocate independence through listening and talking.
“I would like to thank the AG Bell Association for your continued support of my son. It’s nice to know that the Association is so supportive of his efforts. Since he went deaf as a baby, you have always been there; and now, to see him as a functioning, talking young adult living independently in New York City and going to college seems like a miracle. His loss was so profound; I never thought he would speak. I am overjoyed at his progress and know that one of the reasons was the help he received from your organization.” – Alan K.
“We appreciate the support and also the guidance that AG Bell has provided us over the last few years. The directory of service in Volta Voices was responsible for helping me decide that Seattle was an appropriate choice for our move, and we are constantly using your emails and website to look up and review materials and personnel.” – Anonymous
“When I think back to the nurse in the NICU who told me William probably would never hear anything, and the therapist who told me no one would be able to help him, I feel so proud of him. It is thanks to organizations such as yours that families are given hope, the mindset and the tools to fight for the spoken language outcome they are seeking for their child. I have learned so much watching William grow and learn. He is defying all the odds, doing what no one thought he would, which is speak, and I am truly blessed as a mother to witness this miracle.” – Amanda W.
“My children listen and speak as a result of learning to listen with Listening and Spoken Language Specialist (LSLS) certified professionals. My son is in college and my daughter in high school. Both are achieving great academic and social success” –Linda P.
“We want to thank you for your support to our family, both through financial aid and the resources you provide. AG Bell is a contributor to the success we see in our son every day. Thank you!” – Anonymous
“The LOFT program was a wonderful life-changing experience for our daughter. She has had to deal with her hearing loss without the support of a similarly challenged peer group. The LOFT program gave her that peer group and the results were extraordinary. She has learned to advocate for herself and, as a result, has become empowered in ways that will positively impact many aspects of her life.” – Anonymous
[At the AG Bell Biennial Convention] “…we definitely learned that we are not alone in our family’s hearing loss journey. It was so encouraging for us to meet so many beautiful families that were sharing our privileges as well as struggles. We also received valuable information by becoming more familiar with all the equipment available and even purchased cool hearing aid jewelry for [our daughter].” – Anonymous
Important facts about deafness
Every day in the United States, 33 babies are born with hearing loss, which is the leading sensory disability in this country. By the time those children reach kindergarten, the population of children with hearing loss doubles due to late onset, acquired or progressive hearing loss. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 45 percent of these babies either never received an accurate diagnosis, or do not receive appropriate follow-up services when a diagnosis is made. The prime barriers to follow-up include lack of information for families in obtaining services & support for themselves and their baby. In addition, the high cost of hearing health services and hearing technology deter low-income families from seeking needed services. Without early intervention services in the first months of their lives, these children will fall behind their peers in language, cognitive, and social-emotional development. With appropriate technology and the right support, most children who are deaf or hard of hearing can develop language skills comparable to their peers with typical hearing by the time they enter first grade.
Recent research has concluded that children born with a hearing loss who are identified and given appropriate intervention before 6 months of age demonstrated significantly better speech and reading comprehension than children identified after 6 months of age.
Listening and Spoken Language Specialists help children who are deaf or hard of hearing develop spoken language and literacy primarily through listening. LSLS certified professionals guide parents in helping their children develop spoken language through listening and coach them in advocating their children’s inclusion in the mainstream school. Ultimately, parents gain confidence that their children will have access to the full range of educational, social and vocational choices in life.AG Bell is the only national organization whose mission is dedicated exclusively to the outcome of listening and spoken language for children and adults who are deaf and hard of hearing. AG Bell is an authoritative resource in the field of hearing loss – publishing scientific research, hosting NIH funded research symposiums, and providing the Listening and Spoken Language Specialist Certified Auditory-Verbal Therapist/Educator credential. In addition, AG Bell consistently demonstrates the capacity to influence public policy and convene individuals to promote awareness and best practices for listening and spoken language.