FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Christopher Gensch, Communications Director
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Matthew Lynch, Public Relations Coordinator
Email: [email protected]
AG Bell Global Gala Raises Awareness for Hearing Loss
WASHINGTON, November 19, 2018 – The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell) welcomes some of Washington’s top business leaders, diplomats and special guests to gather at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium for its 2018 Global Gala. AG Bell’s Gala will raise awareness about hearing loss worldwide as well as honor Bill and Tani Austin of the Starkey Hearing Foundation for their international philanthropic work providing the gift of hearing to those in need.
AG Bell’s Gala showcases the latest in hearing technologies as well as its Cradle to Career initiative through an interactive exhibit. This year’s special guests include: Justin Osmond from the musical Osmond family (diagnosed with hearing loss as a child), author and psychotherapist Rebecca Alexander, who is the sister of NBC correspondent Peter Alexander and is almost completely deaf and blind; former Secretary of State under President Clinton William Cohen, Grammy award-winning gospel singer Shirley Caesar and international pop-opera group ARIA.
“Each day, AG Bell works to educate, empower and connect individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing to qualified hearing health professionals and a warm network of families, children and adults with hearing loss. Events like these are excellent examples of AG Bell’s efforts in action, such as its Cradle to Career Initiative. Through this, children with hearing loss have essentially a lifelong support network assisting in their schooling and professional development. I am excited to be part of the 2018 AG Bell Global Gala and to have this opportunity to instill hope in children who are deaf and hard of hearing that they can achieve their dreams,” Osmond said.
Proceeds from the Gala will fund scholarships for college students with hearing loss as well as enhance educational resources and financial aid for families.
“From the time that I was diagnosed with a severe-to-profound bilateral hearing loss, AG Bell has provided me and my family with an endless amount of support throughout my life. I could not imagine my life without the professional, emotional and financial support from AG Bell. Being able to access Listening and Spoken Language has allowed me – as a student – to fully take advantage of opportunities I would not otherwise be able to access, such as speech and debate, advanced language classes and sports,” said Regan Brady, a past AG Bell scholarship recipient now studying at Harvard University.
Approximately 15 percent of Americans (37.5 million) are deaf or hard of hearing, with about 2 to 3 out of every 1,000 children in the United States born every year with a detectable level of hearing loss. However, modern technology provides children who are deaf and hard of hearing the opportunity to learn to hear and talk as well as live independent and successful lives.