|Hands and Voices is dedicated to supporting families with children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
without a bias around communication modes or methodology. We're a parent-driven, non-profit
organization providing families with the resources, networks, and information they need to improve
communication access and educational outcomes for their children. Our outreach activities,
parent/professional collaboration, and advocacy efforts are focused on enabling
Deaf and Hard of Hearing children to reach their highest potential.
What works for your child is what makes the choice right.
Let Georgia Hear is a parent-led initiative working towards the goal of securing insurance
coverage for children’s hearing aids in Georgia. Many Georgia families are unable to provide
hearing aids for their children who are deaf or hard of hearing in order to improve access to
their children’s communication. Hearing aids can cost as much as $6,000 per pair and must
be replaced every 3-5 years. This is the equivalent of roughly $42,000 per child who requires
hearing aids before they reach the age of 21 – a hardship for any Georgia family regardless
of household income. As of 2012, 20 other states have passed legislation requiring insurance
companies to cover hearing aids for children. We want Georgia to be the next state to take
this important step! What you can do:
Please Note: From time to time Georgia Hands & Voices receives information about events and other items of interest from other sponsoring
organizations that we pass on through our website that we feel might be of interest to our constituency. These events and information may not
necessarily reflect the viewpoint of Hands & Voices, and relies on our membership to deem what is of value to their own interests.
What is "Language Nutrition" and are your kids getting enough?
“...Recently, the Georgia Pathway to Language and Literacy Coalition is exploring a very healthy partnership
with the Grade Level Reading Campaign here in Georgia. The purpose of both the campaign and GA
Pathway is to make sure that all children in GA, including children who are deaf and hard of
hearing, can read on grade level by age eight.
In response to this mission to get all children to read on grade level by third grade, both groups have been
talking about changing the culture in GA such that parents and caretakers will all know the importance of
“Language Nutrition” for their babies from birth to prepare them for life. In other words, feeding their
BRAINS is just as crucial to their survival as feeding their bodies.
So let’s apply this metaphor for a minute...Moms would feed language to their babies from minute one, like
vital nutrition, and they would seek a response from the baby..."
And what if...
"Imagine it. If the culture changed THAT much, then when a potential language nutrition barrier was detected
within the first few hours after birth --like a failed newborn hearing screening—it would be considered to be
the same level of medical emergency as a regular feeding problem. Babies would be given support from
everyone at the hospital until a plan was made for how to address the barrier. After the baby left the hospital,
immediate professional support would be provided to help those families leap over any obstacles in the way
of language. And most importantly, the parents would be able to deliver the important brain
sustenance in new and inventive ways, in light of the hearing loss, because the professionals
were transferring capacity to the families and the parents fully understood the value of carrying
through at home and the consequences of not."
*Excerpted from, “Language Nutrition”, Carianne Muse's, GA H&V BOD Chairperson, personal blog, “Where introspection
and retrospection come together for edutainment on being a Mom of the Ear: a day in the life of raising children with
hearing loss” on October 25, 2013. You can read Carianne’s full blog at www.myprofoundday.blogspot.com .
GA Hands & Voices is a partner of Georgia Pathway to Language and Literacy,
for more information on this project, please visit www.georgialiteracy.org .