The Decibels Foundation

Rating: 4.93 stars   40 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Disabilities, Education, Human Services, Philanthropy

Location: 2 Clock Tower Place, Suite 418 Maynard MA 01754 USA

Mission: The Decibels Foundation’s mission is to ensure that: - children with hearing loss and their families receive specialized early intervention services; - they have access to necessary technology and equipment, and; - the professionals working with this population in school settings are knowledgeable about the challenges these children face and are supported in helping these students succeed both academically and socially. We fulfill this mission by funding early intervention programs for children with hearing loss and their families, such as the Minute Man Arc Early Intervention Program for Children with Hearing Loss in Concord. Decibels also helps to educate educators by offering workshops and training sessions for professionals who are working with children using hearing aids and cochlear implants in regular education settings.
Results: This year alone, our donors helped us do some incredible things. We've continued the support of weekly playgroups, speech therapy and parent support groups, while expanding to include a Baby Group. We hosted a successful full-day workshop, attended by 140 professionals on 'Meeting the Needs of Young Children with Hearing Loss.' We also gifted $27,500 to various programs at Children's Hospital Boston, including the Sound Start Hearing Aid Loan Bank and the Cochlear Implant Spare Parts Bank. None of this would be possible without our valued supporters. Your impact over the past ten years has resulted in the following incredible achievements: - The cornerstone of the Decibels Foundation's work is the Minute Man Arc Early Intervention Program for Children with Hearing Loss. We understand that children with hearing loss need specialized services during the crucial early years of development. 64 children and their families have benefited from this program since its inception. - As more than 80 percent of children who are or were hearing impaired now attend their local schools, part of our mission is to ensure these educators understand what it takes to teach a child with hearing loss. Since 2008, our Education Specialist, Dr. Honore Weiner has provided 785 consultative hours to local school districts for 44 school-age kids with hearing loss. - Children with hearing loss need the support of knowledgeable professionals. Since 2007, the Decibels Foundation has hosted five full-day workshops covering four different hearing loss related topics. Over 450 teachers, speech therapists, and professionals working with children with hearing loss have attended and rated the workshops an average score of 1.4 out of 5 (1 being the highest). - In an effort to encourage the best and brightest to pursue careers helping children with hearing loss, the Decibels Foundation has awarded $30,000 to our Decibels Scholars. To date, five top students in the Graduate Program of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Emerson College have received this honor.
Target demographics: Children with hearing loss (birth to 21 years old) and their families.
2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I’m writing this review from a waiting room at Children’s Hospital while my daughter undergoes her second cochlear implant surgery. I’ve got about five hours to sit here, and I’ve spent a lot of it pondering just how lost I would have been over the past 18 months without the support offered by the Decibels Foundation. The answer is, “almost completely.”

I simply can’t imagine navigating the emotions (frustration, guilt, anger, sadness, pride) or the logistics (picking surgeons, finding a dispensing audiologist, how to start preparing for IEPs and school) of having a deaf child without Decibels’ help. Through the foundation, we’ve found exceptional professionals to help our daughter develop spoken and signed language and to help us figure out which questions to ask and how to get answers. Just as importantly, the Decibels Foundation has introduced us to a network of families with whom we can share, vent, laugh, and (occasionally) cry. It’s become one of the most important influences on our lives.

I constantly tell friends and family members, that we’re the lucky ones: this is the best time and place in the history of the world to have a deaf child. I say that, in large part, because of the ways that the Decibels Foundation has given us information, hope, and support. We will be eternally grateful for all that the foundation has done, and we look forward to working with them over the coming years.

In short, if you are looking for ways to have your donations make a disproportionately large impact on the lives of families in need, I urge you to support the Decibels Foundation. They’re good people, doing amazing and important things.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Our son was diagnosed with hearing loss when he was born. At first we were worried, scared, uncertain about what he would need and how we would find the right ways to take care of that need. Once we were connected with the amazing people at Decibels, we realized that there was a whole team of people who would provide information, offer advice, do amazing fundraising to be sure that the programs children with hearing loss need would function at a superb level - and they also give the kids an opportunity to know each other (so our son knows he's not the only one who wears something in his ears) and gives the parents an invaluable community of support, encouragement and companionship as we all take care of our kids.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

Our daughter Erin was born profoundly deaf. At the age of three months we started going to Minuteman Arc in W. Concord MA. Through Minuteman we got involved with The Decibels Foundation. Before Decibels we felt lost, confused, and scared. The people at Decibels helped us with so much information and were so caring in every way. We really don't know what we would have done without them being there for us!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

Our son was born with a hearing loss. We learned about the hearing loss through the newborn screening testing. We met with many individuals and organizations prior to being referred to Minuteman ARC in W. Concord, MA through which we got involved with The Decibels Foundation. While everyone prior to Minuteman and Decibels were caring and well intentioned, Decibels and Minuteman were simply unmatched in their compassion, their breadth and depth of services offered, and their general professionalism! I have and will continue to recommend The Decibels Foundation to anyone dealing with a child with hearing loss. They are, simply, the best!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

My daughter, Ellie, was diagnosed with hearing loss at age 2 1/2. The Decibels Foundation has helped us in so many ways: providing uplifting support, timely information, high quality services, and a general sense of "belonging".

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 4 stars  

The Decibels Foundation made a lifelong impact on our family. Our daughter was able to recieve the critical services she needed to overcome the challenges associated with hearing loss. My husband and I were also able to receive the critical information, education and access to top language and medical specialists in the field. We are forever grateful.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

I can not imagine where my family would be without the Decibels Foundation. Everyone involved is caring, educated and has changed our lives for the better. Our daughter would not be doing as well as she is without this incredible foundation. They have educated us, supported us and will continue to support us for years to come. They have helped us navigate our daughter's unique journey into the hearing impaired world and given us the confidence and support needed. We have made lifelong friends and feel extremely lucky to know these amazing people that have supported our daughter and our family.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

The Decibels Foundation has changed our family's present and future. Last year our newborn son was diagnosed with hearing loss in both ears. He would need hearing aids in order to develop oral language and communication. We were also urged to have our 2 year old daughter's hearing tested and discovered, to our amazement, that she too had moderately-severe hearing loss and would need hearing aids. Living in a part of the country with an abundance of world class medical institutions and centers for learning, we expected that support, advocacy and information would be easy to come by. We were astonished to learn that the opposite was true. After disheartening months of searching and finding no significant help in the areas of auditory development, speech therapy and appropriate developmental assistance, we stumbled upon the Decibels Foundation and one of the vital hearing loss programs that this foundation supports. Within weeks our children were involved in substantive programs with knowledgeable and caring staff. Our children were with kids just like them and they received the therapies that they needed in order to benefit from their new technology. Our family went from one in crisis to one in community. From a family that felt powerless to one that has become empowered. A family in despair to one that has found laughter and so much joy in our new normal. We are so grateful to the Decibels Foundation for giving our children such a great start in our family and our community. Because of the amazing work of Decibels, we can communicate effectively as a family with each other and our children can look forward to a future fully integrated into the life of our community. The work of the Decibels Foundation is profound, transformative and persisting.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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