#hearUSA

By parents for parents

When parents discover that their child has a loss of hearing, scores of questions immediately spring to mind. Many of them are overwhelmed at first – and who better to contact for support than other parents who already have years of experience in dealing with exactly the same problems?

Place & Year

USA, since 2013

Project Partners

Hands & Voices, Inc.

Support

Funding

Main Focus

Children Providing audiological care for children in low-income countries is a focal area of the Hear the World Foundation’s activities.
Professional training The Hear the World Foundation supports projects that enable continuous audiological training for professionals on site.
Prevention of hearing loss The Hear the World Foundation globally promotes awareness for the topics of hearing and hearing loss and thus actively contributes toward the prevention of hearing loss.
Programs for parents & families By supporting self-help groups for parents, the Hear the World Foundation makes an important contribution, thus ensuring that affected parents receive specific help and assistance.

According to a survey, more than 90% of all parents whose children have hearing lossfeel that contact with other families affected by hearing loss is the most important form of support for them. This is not so much because these families can provide sympathy and emotional encouragement, but primarily because they can offer useful information from first-hand experience and help with practical day-to-day matters. This was the motivation behind the Colorado-based organization Hands & Voices, which was set up 17 years ago by a group of parents whose children had hearing loss. Regardless of their background, where they live and their financial circumstances, all parents are provided with valuable information and advice. Whether they have questions on technical issues relating to hearing aids or the latest research findings, are having problems choosing the right school or are looking for funding opportunities and therapy options, parents have access to a vast network to help them find the answer they need quickly and easily.

What started out as a small-scale parent-run initiative has grown into an international network also thanks to Hear the World’s support that is spreading across more and more countries. Handbooks on various topics relating to hearing loss offer effective help in a range of languages: what to do if your child fails the newborn hearing screening, where to find financial support for therapy, etc. Colorful picture books with speech exercises are available to order, as are specially developed apps that can be loaded straight onto a cell phone. The organization also offers special leadership training courses on how to give advice to other parents, thus carrying on the concept of providing support from family to family. The ultimate aim of the organization is to pave the way for as many children as possible around the world to live life to the full and enjoy successful careers.