The 1889 Foundation has provided a $20,000 grant to Easterseals Western and Central Pennsylvania (ESWCPA) to benefit its “Equitable Hearing Health” initiative.

The funds will be used to cover the cost of hearing aids, fittings, and follow-up appointments for qualifying patients in the Cambria and Somerset counties of Pennsylvania.

“Easterseals Western and Central Pennsylvania has served the Johnstown and Somerset areas since 1949,” says 1889 Foundation president Sue Mann. “The low-income and less fortunate members of our communities struggle to afford hearing aids even at the lowest possible cost. Hearing impaired individuals deserve the right to live a normal life by having the opportunity to hear, a basic right that many take for granted.” 

ESWCPA will utilize a new program through hearing aid company Starkey called Starkey Cares, the organization says. The program provides Starkey hearing aids to qualifying individuals. Once a patient is diagnosed with hearing loss, they can submit an application detailing their income proving they fall at 200% or below the federal poverty line and cannot afford the cost of hearing aids. If approved, the patient will receive Starkey hearing aids.

Further reading: Starkey Reveals New Rechargeable Hearing Aid, Updates Genesis AI

“Thanks to funding from 1889 Foundation our mission will continue to lead to 100% equity, inclusion, and access for individuals with disabilities, their families and communities,” says Sarah Kern, ESWCPA corporate and foundation support specialist.

Funding will provide up to six visits for hearing aids per patient. These visits include hearing aid evaluation, hearing aid visits, and four follow-up support appointments.

If Starkey hearing aids aren’t the best option for a particular patient, with the help of the grant, ESWCPA plans to assist patients in purchasing other hearing aid brands as well. The 1889 Foundation grant will aid qualifying patients diagnosed with hearing loss who cannot afford hearing aids.

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