I’m pleased to submit this Report about the current work of Partners in Hearing in this our 5th year of operations. In short, we are fulfilling our Mission by helping children who are deaf (and their caregivers) and who are able to benefit from cochlear implantation. There is no shortage of work to be done and I am pleased with our accomplishments and achievements and the support of our wonderful Board, as well as you, our donors.
Our Accomplishments. We presently support three very promising programs with cash grants to three highly prestigious NY based institutions:
1. At Westchester Medical Center’s Cochlear Implant Center.
Our new effort at WMC involves educational advocacy through a learning series for parents and professionals. The goal of this program is to empower families and professionals by providing the information and knowledge of what a child with a CI needs within their academic setting, to facilitate optimal academic success for the children. In the past, we supported a tele therapy program at WMC for children who are not able to visit a therapist in person. That program continues.
2. Our grant in support of the Bridging the Gap program at Clarke School for Hearing and Speech continues. It has been a real success in the lives of children who are “late” identified as being deaf. “Late” in this context means after age 3. We've learned that this can happen for a variety of reasons - eg, misdiagnosis as being autistic. We've seen this happen. So, the extra focus is needed for at least 2 reasons: First, because our brain's ability to process sound and develop speech diminishes substantially post age 3 and secondly, the Early Intervention Programs generally end at age 3. These families do not have the advantage of Clarke's early Intervention services because their child’s hearing loss was not discovered until toddlerhood. As a consequence of not receiving services in infancy, each such child experiences delays in achieving speech and language milestones. We help bridge the language gap by supporting parent based therapy with Speech and Language Pathologists and/or Teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The New York City based program is headed by Meredith Berger, Director who does a fabulous job.
3. Our newest grant recipient is St. Francis de Sales School for the Deaf. SFDS is a privately owned, state supported school for students from birth through 8th grade who are deaf, The school is located in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. SFDS serves students who are Deaf, DeafBlind, Functionally Deaf and Deaf with Additional/Multiple Disabilities (including Deaf with Autism and Deaf with Intellectual Disabilities). SFDS goal is to enhance the communication tools of students using Listening and Spoken Language ("LSL") as their primary communication language and mode for both students with and without implants. The foregoing has led to development of and our support of a Parent Training Program that includes:
• Family coaching sessions to teach strategies to use at home
• Interpreters for non-English speaking families to have access to learning listening strategies to use at home with their child
• Potential options for in person or virtual parent training
The Parent Training Program includes SFDS faculty and consultants as well as the purchase of materials. We have high hopes for this one and look for it to be a model for other schools that want to enhance LSL.
Looking to the Future. We optimistically look towards the future. We are in the process of expanding our Board with professionals and seeking new grant recipients where we can make a difference. So far so good!
Fundraising. On the fundraising side, in addition to the generosity of so many friends, we were successful in obtaining a grant from a large foundation - that's a real step forward for us. We’re proud to be recognized as being credible, innovative and effective in not only identifying need but in effectively identifying the solution and being able to distribute resources. We hope to do more grant writing in the coming year as we continue our Mission.
Michael G. Tannenbaum,
President, November, 2022
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