The Hard of Hearing Young People Foundation is an organization worth knowing about. Their slogan tells you everything you need to know, “You Give. We Share. People Hear.”
The 501c3 not-for-profit foundation was formed in 2011 with the mission to “help hard of hearing youth secure adequate hearing aids to enhance their life and hearing quality, to unite globally and to raise awareness of hearing disability between both affected and not affected people.” That’s a mission worth supporting. According to the foundation, only 20% of people around the world who could benefit from hearing aids actually own a one2.
One look at the foundation’s website makes it easy to see the energy, enthusiasm, and tireless efforts that go into making sure that every young person can receive a hearing aid. Their work has gained some noteworthy support in the form of charitable contributions from Google grants and Amazon Smile.
The foundation has several initiatives, one of which is collecting new and used hearing aids to be refurbished for hearing impaired youth. One way the foundation accomplishes this goal is to team up with local Lions Clubs to hold hearing aid drives. The organization is also committed to education, saying “we want to educate the hearing public while also ensuring those in the hard of hearing community have access to the fast-evolving information and technological advances.”
Not leaving anything to chance, the foundation posts on their website a list of ways in which people can help them accomplish their goals. It includes ideas ranging from creating workplace-giving campaigns to hearing aid donation drives.
- Encourage your employer to start a Hard of Hearing Young People Foundation campaign so employees can make weekly, monthly or quarterly contributions
- Contribute directly through PayPal
- Shop online through sites that make contributions to the foundation, like Amazon smile, eBay for Charity and others
- Remember the foundation through planned giving
- Donate new or used hearing aids
If you visit the website, make sure to watch the video3 of young hard of hearing children describing their favorite sounds. There are also suggestions on how to communicate with deaf and hard of hearing people, tips and advice, and life stories.
Hearing Aids for Children
If you have a child with a hearing impairment, it’s important to know that there are hearing aids sized specifically for young children. Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are the best model because the earmolds that sit behind the ear can be changed several times a year to fit children as they grow. The earmolds come in different colors, making them more appealing to children which can improve compliance.
Once your child has received a hearing test from a certified audiologist you can purchase a hearing aid calibrated to those exact specifications. Purchasing hearing aids online [DC1] is reliable and much less costly than purchasing the devices from a retail store. New hearing aid technology means that adjustments can be made on the phone rather than visiting a physical shop. It makes maintaining the hearing aid much easier for the parent and the child.
Hearing impairments can limit a child’s language development and learning. Supporting the effort to ensure that every young person has a hearing aid is a worthwhile effort. Spread the word.
1: Hard of Hearing Young People Foundation: http://www.hohypf.org/
2: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communicative Disorders, National Institutes of Health