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. 

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Comments (Archived):

  1. Helenerosenthal

    thanks so much for attending. really appreciate.

  2. ahoova

    As someone who has immersed themselves in the Deaf community (Deaf with a capital D) for years, it saddens me to read your statement “What is more amazing is the kids that they evaluate and treat early on.” Not all cotchlear implants are successful and can ruin whatever hearing the person has left. This is brain surgery we are talking about on a young child.But my biggest issue with this whole post is the lack of information on the Deaf Community -a community with a rich language, history and a place for these kids to grow up and be like everyone else. Yet parents of deaf children are not aware of this community. They are not given the resources to understand that their children do not have to be isolated and feel ostracized. The Deaf community teaches their children Deaf pride- which is something that hearing people cannot fathom or understand.I understand that from a parents viewpoint – they just want their kids to be like everyone else and make their children’s lives better. But a hearing parents need to understand that they are making an unbalanced decision for their children.

    1. Gotham Gal

      I totally appreciate what you are saying and have heard that side before.My guess is that with time the technology gets better and better in regards to the cochlear implants. Deaf pride should be applauded but the reality is that every parent who has a deaf child wants to insure that their child will not be hindered as an adult in not only the working world but the social world. That they have every opportunity as everyone else.There was a young woman who spoke last night. She is in her fourth year at NYU. She was struck with a severe case of meningitis at age 8. She did not come from a family of means yet her mother was a nurse and knew of CCH. Through hard work and still hard work today she is able to achieve her personal goals.When she was a child trying to deal with learning to speak as a hearing impaired person she overheard two teachers commenting on her. They said the most that will come of her will be flipping burgers at McDonalds. She vowed to never let that happen. If she had anything to do with McDonalds it would be to own a McDonalds.I applaud people who overcome challenges they face in any situation. To be given an opportunity to face those challenges with high performing tools is something that can not be discounted.Each parent can make risk decisions for their child based on what is presented to them. If I was a parent of a child who had the opportunity to hear because at present they can’t, I’d be hard pressed not to make the choice for the implant.

      1. ShanaC

        That’s true of every disability. Many of them have strong cultural wings to how they handle themselves. In the end it is still a choice of the parents about what is the best way to let the kids grow into the most full being possible

        1. Gotham Gal

          I couldn’t agree more.

    2. rachel

      The most anyone who cares about a certain issue (whether it be a disease, impairment, etc) can ask for is to have other people who care. Whether or not you agree with implants (or anything else written here) it is fantastic for the CCH to get press and attention from people like GG.

      1. Gotham Gal

        you are so right. Its all about caring.