Siemens Hearing Instruments Inc, Piscataway, NJ, has renewed its partnership with Quota International Inc, Washington, to provide free hearing instruments to disadvantaged children.

Through its second annual partnership with Quota International’s Sound Beginnings Program, Siemens will donate 100 free hearing instruments to children 17 and under who are in financial need and meet criteria set by Quota.

Only 11 states mandate partial insurance coverage for pediatric hearing instruments, making it more difficult for some families to afford this out-of-pocket expense. The Siemens vouchers for families accepted into the program allow for the donation of a total of 50 CIELO 2 and 50 Siemens Explorer hearing instruments.

"We are proud to once again partner with Siemens Hearing Instruments to help families avoid making the decision between the basics of life and hearing instruments for their children," says Nancy Fitzpatrick, Quota’s deputy executive director. "Our partnership allows those families to provide some of the best hearing instruments available to their children, greatly enriching their quality of life."

Lydia, a young recipient of the program, is now connected to the sounds around her. She had been adopted from China by a couple in the United States who discovered that her previously noted behavioral problems were actually attributed to an undiagnosed hearing loss.

"Untreated, hearing loss can significantly impact a child’s development and communication skills," said Thomas A. Powers, PhD, VP of audiology and compliance at Siemens. "Seventeen out of every 1,000 children born in the US suffer from some degree of hearing loss and the number rises as the child population ages. There is a critical need in this country for hearing loss education and meaningful hearing solutions, particularly among children in disadvantaged families."

"Two great products are available for our program with Quota," Powers says. "CIELO 2 is a versatile hearing solution, offering a variety of styles for different degrees of hearing loss. Siemens Explorer has the capability, via our optional Tek enhancement systems, to wirelessly stream quality audio from cell phones, MP3 players, TVs, and other devices directly to both hearing instruments using Bluetooth® technology."

Siemens’ hearing loss awareness Web site can be found at

Quota’s 6,500 individual members in 285 Quota clubs in 14 countries worldwide are committed to serving their communities, and for their service to deaf, hard-of-hearing, and speech-impaired individuals and disadvantaged women and children.

[Source: Siemens]