More than 400 children in SEDOL’s care have been identified with partial or complete hearing loss. The cost of hearing aids – typically $1,500 to $6,000 – is prohibitive for most families. However, through a generous grant made by a Foundation board member and his Lake Forest family, the “Help Them to Hear” fund provides assistance to the many families that don’t qualify for state funds.
The Lynch family found themselves in such a situation. Margot was born with total deafness in one ear and progressive hearing loss in her “good” ear. A child’s ability to acquire auditory information affects the development of verbal and reading skills, as well as academic and social progress. “Help Them to Hear” has given Margot full access to the world of sounds, supplying her with an FM wireless device consisting of a transmitter which picks up sound and sends it up to 100 yards via radio waves to a tiny receiver connected to Margot’s hearing aid. The system can carry the voice of her mother or a teacher, music or the audio from a computer or television.
Margot’s mom, Kris, says that “words cannot express the difference it has made… when she puts the earpiece in, the expression on her face changes, it’s like she wakes up to the world!”