Hearing loss is a problem that isn’t going away. Three out of every 1,000 babies are born with it, and 1 in 5 teens report problems with it, according to the Hearing Health Foundation and the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). The good news is, there is help for all hearing levels and the Hear the Music Project is making its way across the nation empowering people to make healthy hearing choices, Songs for Sound announced.
Songs for Sound, a Nashville-based charity committed to making hearing healthcare affordable and accessible, designed the Hear the Music Project to do just that. The project brings a no-cost mobile hearing health clinic to community sites throughout the nation, providing free hearing tests, hearing protection, and resources to connect people with today’s hearing solutions. According to Songs for Sound, you can find an audiologist, book an appointment and demo hearing aids, cochlear implants, and Captioned Telephones in just minutes aboard the clinic. The project would not exist without support from sponsors like Denver’s own cochlear implant pioneers, Cochlear Americas.
“Due to lack of awareness and access, less than five percent of those able to benefit from a cochlear implant are being treated,” said Patricia Trautwein, VP of Marketing for Cochlear Americas. “Cochlear is thrilled to sponsor a program that combines mobile health screenings and music to shed light on the important universal issue of hearing loss, and provide access to information and testing throughout the United States.”
Helping those with hearing loss and deafness is personal for Songs for Sound Co-Founder & Executive Director, Jaime Vernon. After being missed for a newborn hearing screening and a series of inconclusive pediatric appointments, her daughter Lexi was diagnosed as deaf at 15 months old. She heard her first sounds when her cochlear implants were activated at 19 months old.
Today Lexi is a typical Nashville third grader, thriving in a mainstream classroom and athletics (she can throw a 44 MPH softball pitch and her basketball team has been undefeated for three seasons). If you met her, you would not know she is deaf. The only hint might be the earpiece and coils of her cochlear implant processor. Lexi’s basketball coach of four years, Jackson Routh, sometimes forgets. “I often have to remind myself to be conscious of Lexi’s hearing loss because she has not let that stand in the way of pursuing or excelling in the things she loves.”
Vernon credits her daughter’s success to technology, quality speech and hearing specialists, and a whole lot of grit. “What has brought us where we are today? Technology—Cochlear Freedom implants, Nucleus 6 Processor, and Wireless Mini Microphones; also, quality doctors and speech therapists and, most importantly, the hard work Lexi has done herself.”
The Hear the Music Project aims to give everyone access to audiologists, specialists, and technologies like the ones that changed Lexi’s life. “When people have access to hearing solutions, the benefits go far beyond hearing,” said Vernon. The project has connected more than 6,500 people with hearing specialists and solutions since July 2016. You can visit the clinic at the following sites in Colorado over the next several weeks:
April 29 Erie’s 9Health Fair, Erie, 7 a.m.- noon
April 30 9Health Fair at Littleton Family YMCA, Littleton, 7 a.m. – noon
May 1 Littleton Family YMCA, Littleton, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
May 2 Glenarm Recreation/Senior Center, Denver, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
May 4 The Family Learning Center, Boulder, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.
May 6 Evolve Expo, Denver, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
May 7 Evolve Expo, Denver, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
May 9-10 Susan M. Duncan Family YMCA, Denver, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
May 11-12 University Hills-Schlessman Family YMCA, Denver, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
May 13 9Health Fair Pepsi Center, Denver, 7am-noon
May 16 Cope Boys & Girls Club, Denver, 3pm-8pm
Source: Songs for Sound