Denver, Colo — “Being deaf shouldn’t stop anyone from creating the music they love.” That’s the mantra of music producer Darnell Parks, founder and chairman of H.E.A.R. Me Out, a non-profit organization with a mission to connect hearing impaired adults to the resources they need to help them overcome challenges with their disability.

Parks, who has a profound hearing loss in his left ear and is completely deaf in his right ear, has been producing music since 1994. His love of music is one form of expression that helps him to overcome challenges with his hearing loss.

Now Parks is using his music and a project funding platform called Kickstarter to raise funds for a CD that features spoken poems from a local renowned artist. Once created, the CD will be sold to raise money for the early development stage of H.E.A.R. Me Out.

“My goal for this fund-raising project is to provide a source of inspiration, not just for the hearing impaired, but also for anyone who has a challenge overcoming obstacles in their lives,” says Parks.

He adds that having a profound hearing loss actually helps him with his music. “Because of my disability, I actually hear and feel music a little differently than others might,” he says.

Parks created H.E.A.R. Me Out after experiencing the struggle to find and access resources for individuals with hearing loss and seeing friends with the same challenges. He explains that many businesses are not aware of technology or methods that can help their company communicate with hearing impaired customers or employees. As a result, communication barriers exist that hamper opportunities for employment, or access to services.

“If a person can’t hear well on the phone and a business does not have compatible technology, it can be a challenge to find employment or access services a company provides.”

The online fund-raiser will run through December 13, 2011. Parks’ goal is to raise $7,000. Kickstarter is an "all or nothing" fund raising platform, where all donations are returned if the stated goal is not met, so Parks urges the hearing health community to help spread the word. You can support the project here.

A sample of the poetry project is below.