Center for the Hearing and Communication Centennial Gala
I am not a fan of the big sit down galas but last night's event for the Center for Hearing and Communication was not only well done it was eye opening. There are 38 million people with hearing loss in this country alone. That number will rise to 50 million over the next ten years. That alone is quite amazing.
What is more amazing is the kids that they evaluate and treat early on. Early intervention is the key to success. Many now get cochlear implants at any early age allowing them to communicate as if they have perfect hearing. Although it is not that simple because it takes a lot of hard work to learn how to pronunciate and hear the same sounds as others do with a cochlear implant. I know that first hand because the person who works for us had a cochlear implant put in a few years ago. It has changed her life.
Dr. Noel Cohen was awarded an award last night as a pioneer in cochlear and brainstem implant design and surgery. Quite an impressive man.
The evening starting at 6pm for cocktail and was wrapped up by 10pm. Love that. Kassie DePaiva from "One Life to Live" kicked off the evening with her 13 year old son who was born deaf. At the time her son was born, only 8 states tested the hearing of newborns at the time of birth. CHC wants to change that. CHC wants every newborn to have a hearing test as well as making an annual hearing test become as normal as having your teeth cleaned twice a year. An excellent idea. Kassie's 13 year old son gave a speech about how CHC changed his life. Impressive young man not only for being mainstreamed into schools from an early age and having a cochlear implant put in at an early age but for standing up in front of a large audience of adults and speaking of his experience.
This picture is of Crystal Bowersox, an American Idol runner-up in the 9th season. What I love about this picture is the large screen on top of her head with the words being typed out as she speaks. Personally, I wish that had a screen like that at every event I go to. The older I get, the harder it is to hear too.
CDC is a great organization that until you have a hearing problem or a child with a hearing problem, you don't realize how a place like CDC is the key to a life, helping families continue to communicate regardless of being hearing impaired.