November 15, 2012
The founders of The Decibels Foundation and the many families who volunteer to support its activities illustrate the astounding resilience of parents. They help other families while striving to understand and meet the needs of their own young children. The hard work and creativity of The Decibels Foundation has greatly improved the landscape in our region for children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families. The creativity never stops, on the fundraising end (who wouldn't be grabbed by Stink Week?) and on the giving end. Imagine a playroom for toddlers who can hear speech only with electronic gear in a room that has far less background noise echoing around than the usual classroom. The Decibels Foundation created it. Imagine such a parent-run foundation gifting significantly to the special projects of a major pediatric hospital, Boston Children's Hospital, where I am privileged to serve as the habilitative audiology program director. Decibels' gifts to our hearing aid loan bank, as one example, have allowed tiny infants to hear their parents' voices without waiting weeks or month for funding. The Decibels Foundation has visions for future projects, including training a generation of speech and hearing clinicians to learn from, work with, support, and teach caregivers to help children use their hearing and develop rich language skills. With support, The Decibels Foundation could improve the landscape and open doors for these children on a broader scale than our community.
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