Preschool-Age Financial Aid Program
About the Program
The Preschool-Age Financial Aid program was established to provide financial aid support to families of preschool-age children who have been diagnosed with a moderate to profound hearing loss and who are in pursuit of spoken language education for their child. Grants are awarded to assist with expenses associated with obtaining services such as auditory support services, speech-language therapy, preschool tuition, etc. Families who apply must be committed to a listening and spoken language approach for the education of their child’s listening, speech and cognitive skills.
These are one-time awards made generally at the end of summer. Award amounts vary; over the past three years, awards have ranged from $250 to $1,500.
In order to be eligible for this program, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:
The child’s bilateral hearing loss or Auditory Neuropathy must have been diagnosed before the child’s fourth birthday. Children with unilateral (one-sided) hearing loss or unilateral Auditory Neuropathy do not qualify.
The child’s hearing loss must be in the moderately-severe to profound range. This means that applicants must have an unaided Pure-Tone Average (PTA) of 55 dB or greater in the better hearing ear, in the speech frequencies of 500, 1000, 2000 and 4000 Hz.* Children with cochlear implants meet this eligibility requirement.
Formula for calculating the PTA:
On the unaided audiogram, look at the results for the better hearing ear at 500, 1000, 2000 and 4000 Hz and add those three numbers together, then divide that total by four. The result is the Pure Tone Average. To be eligible for this award, the child’s PTA must be 55 dB or greater.
*This may not apply for children who have been diagnosed with Auditory Neuropathy. For information on required documentation for AN, please see the “documentation” section on the next page.
Listening and Spoken Language must be the child’s primary mode of communication.
The child’s fourth birthday must be or have been before December 31, 2018 and the child must not yet be entering the first grade in the 2018-2019 school year.
The child (and primary contact) must reside in the United States, including territories, or in Canada.
Parents/guardians should be able to clearly outline their need for financial assistance and plans for use of grant funds.
Note: All applicants for Preschool Financial Aid will receive membership in AG Bell free of cost.
Application Submission Instructions
Please use this as a checklist to help ensure that your application is complete.
The application can be completed online as a writable pdf. We suggest you download the application and save it. Once you have completed the application, save it again, print and scan it, and then scan the required attachments. Submit all pages together in one document via email to: [email protected].
If you choose to submit your application in paper form, all pages of the application and supporting materials should be submitted on 8½” x 11” paper (or Canadian equivalent).
All pages must be single-sided; information on the back of a page will not be transmitted to the committee.
Please remove all staples from the application.
The paper application should be submitted flat (NOT folded) in a 9”x12” envelope, held together with one paper clip.
Whether you submit your application by e-mail or on paper, the application and attachments must be in English and in the following order:
Application, with pages in order. Every page of the application must be completed and page four of the application must be signed.
Documentation of hearing loss.
For children with a cochlear implant, please include the most recent programming report. If your child uses a cochlear implant and a hearing aid, only a CI programming report is required. In the absence of programming report, an audiogram will suffice.
For children who have been diagnosed with Auditory Neuropathy and who do not have a cochlear implant, please include the last two unaided audiograms (one must have been performed within the last 12 months) along with the report from the audiologist with the original AN diagnosis. If two audiograms are not available, please include a recent report from the audiologist with the current status of the AN along with recommendations.
Two (2) Letters of Recommendation, each from different professionals who are familiar with your child. These should be from a therapeutic, educational or hearing health professional, such as a speech-language pathologist, listening and spoken language specialist (LSLS), early interventionist, early childhood special educator, teacher of the deaf, preschool teacher, etc. Each letter should be a maximum of two pages and single-sided.
Please Note: These must be formal letters of recommendation typed on letterhead and signed; e-mail messages, meeting reports, reports or report cards, or evaluation notes are not acceptable.
One (1) Letter of Recommendation from a non-relative who is familiar with the family’s financial need (maximum of two pages, single-sided and signed).
NOTE: Three separate letters of recommendation from three different individuals are required for your application to be considered for an award.
Please remove letters of recommendation from the envelopes in which you receive them, unfold them, and attach them flat to your application. Please do not include information that has not been requested; all such items will be separated from the application and destroyed.
Once an application is received, it is screened for eligibility and completeness. Following the application deadline, eligible applications are forwarded to the award selection committee for review; ineligible applications are discarded.
The selection process will take approximately 8 to 10 weeks. Once the selection of awards is made by the committee, notification will be emailed to all applicants – those who were selected as well as those who were not selected to receive an award.
Awards will be issued during the month of October.
Do You Have Questions or Need Clarification?
Send an email with your question(s) to: [email protected] Response time may be up to three business days, so please plan accordingly when submitting your questions.