From Silence to Hope: Transform lives of children who are deaf or hard of hearing, Fund

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About

You can help us transform lives of children who are deaf or hard of hearing, teaching them to listen, speak, and learn through: proven spoken language and cognitive development curriculum family-centered education innovative technology Our intensive education and therapy program teaches listening and spoken language to children who are deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH) so they can close the gap with hearing peers and succeed in mainstream education starting in the first grade. A child who misses this window of neurological development will probably spend his or her school days in special education classes, falling progressively further behind, which is the outcome for up to 90% of children who are D/HH. Technology Opens the Door: Cochlear implants and advanced hearing aids give babies and children access to sound, and those technologies are continually improving. Babies are being implanted before the age of one. However, access to sound is not enough for children to acquire language. Language Requires Early & Intensive Intervention: Optimal age for acquiring language is 0 - 3. After that, the developing brain prunes unused neural pathways and it becomes increasingly difficult for children to listen, speak, and learn as they get older. These babies and children need intensive language instruction and therapy and they need it early, when they are 0 - 3 Our Programs: We operate a Center of Excellence in Redwood City that serves families throughout the Bay Area. Our BabyTalk Teleintervention Program, a partnership with the Stanford School of Medicine, provides in-person speech and language therapy via video link to families of children ages 0-3 who are D/HH throughout California. BabyTalk offers service in English and Spanish. Our Results: We make a difference! From our survey of alumni spanning our 53-year history, 81% of our adult alumni are college students or hold a bachelors degree or higher. This compares with the national average that includes the 90% of children who miss the window: 50% of children in the U.S. who are D/HH finish high school at a fourth grade level of literacy or below (Traxler). COVID and Need: Distance learning and masks create even greater challenges for children who are D/HH. Our specialized distance learning program served 100% of our families during stay-at-home, allowing them to maintain pace of learning. Now we are back on-campus, following COVID protocols. This year is financially challenging because school district budgets are tight, in-person fundraisers are cancelled, and more families are requesting tuition assistance. Your support will make a difference!
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