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Hearing loss can be a very devastating experience. This can be more traumatic if you are not in a position to afford the necessary medical expenses. The good news is that there are several organizations and government agencies that provide different forms of assistance for people with hearing problems. These entities offer support in form of grant programs geared toward educational expenses as well as provide the needed assistance for everyday communication.
Dorothy Ames Trust Fund
The Dorothy Ames Trust Fund assists children in New England states (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT) with hearing disabilities. The program provides financial assistance for toward the purchase of hearing aids. The grants can also be used to pay for auditory trainers for children who are deaf, to teach them to use their voices. Applications are accepted year round and to be eligible you need to submit a copy of the child's audiology report, estimated cost for required equipment, a statement of need and a recent copy of your tax return.
State Telephone Access Grants
Every state has its own grant and assistance program that is aimed at helping people with hearing disabilities to obtain and use telecommunications devices. Depending on the particular program run by the state, such individuals may be eligible for a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD), bidirectional pages or teletype or individual grants offered towards the purchase of such devices. You can apply with the National Telecommunications Equipment Distribution Program Association, which can be accessed via TEDPA.org.
The W. Paul Biggers CCCDP
The W. Paul Biggers Carolina Children's Communicative Disorders Program (CCCDP) is based at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Hospital and offers grants that cover the cost of hearing devices such as cochlear implants and hearing aids that are not covered by insurance or other health care programs. Eligibility requirements include being a North Carolina residence, under 21 years of age and financial need based on family income. Applications are accepted any time and should include copies of federal and NC state tax forms.
Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing provides a number of funding programs that benefit people with hearing disabilities. Awards range from $1,000 to $10,000. There are certain eligibility requirements, such as listening and spoken language being the main communication mode and having been diagnosed for hearing loss prior to your fourth birthday.
Disabled Children’s Relief Fund
Disabled Children’s Relief Fund (DCRF) is a non-profit organization that offers grants to children with hearing disabilities. Awards range from $25 to $200 and may be used for the purchase of hearing devices. Special attention is given to families without adequate health insurance and online applications should be submitted between April to September by the parent or guardian for the individual child. Additionally, applications are accepted from non-profit organizations applying on behalf of a group of children.
Based in Los Angeles, Billy Max has been an assistant professor of mechanical engineering with a state university, and has been writing engineering and business and finance-related articles since 2005. His articles have appeared in IEEE Transactions and Business Solutions websites. Max holds a doctorate in engineering, and concentrates on technology, policy and business development.