Greetings- on behalf of the Board of Directors and myself, we hope this finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy.
As we navigate these unprecedented times, we are touched by the spirit and community that has come together to support children and families in need. The challenges we face remind us of what is truly important – the health and well-being of our families, friends and community. While we all look forward to when our lives return to some semblance of normalcy, we must acknowledge how this change has spurned innovation in the service world.
FHSR’s community is our top priority, from our scholarship recipients to those who receive direct services from clinicians. Our parents may be at home both working and simultaneously advancing their child’s speech and listening skills to successfully maintain their educational progress. Our concern now, as it has always been, is how can we best support children with hearing loss and their families?
I am proud to say that FHSR, along with our program partners, have galvanized their resources to support our families. The Merit School of Music and The Old Town School of Folk Music have both worked nonstop to get their online music classes up and running seemingly without missing a beat to bring the joy of music into our Music To My Ears Scholarship children’s homes once a week. This simple act brings an hour of fun for the children and parents in a stressful time while providing much needed structure and comfort in the familiarity of their teacher’s face and voice.
We have worked with our music teachers to get our school music programs retooled for online classes so the children at Child’s Voice and Children of Peace / Trinity School for the Deaf have access to their music classes until the time comes that we can gather again in person at our schools.
Jen Haney, the Hart Family Cochlear Implant Education Coordinator at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, continues to connect with families of deaf/hard of hearing children through telemedicine and other means to keep providing top quality support and staying in touch with schools. This limits the negative impact of the current downtime until she, the families and educators are able to safely resume meeting in person.
The FHSR Associate Board, young professionals in fields supporting deaf/hard of hearing children, have come together to write blogs for families and care givers at home as they work with their deaf/hard of hearing child on listening skills, speech and music.
In addition they have raised money for grants distributed just this month to Pediatric Loaner Hearing Aid programs throughout Chicago at Lurie Children’s, University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital and the University of Illinois – Chicago, which could not be more timely. In these difficult economic times, there is peace of mind for the families knowing they have access to free loaner hearing aids if their child’s hearing aid is lost or broken.
FHSR has been dedicated to supporting families with deaf/hard of hearing children for over 60 years.
Our community is now facing additional barriers to quality health and educational support. While FHSR remains committed to its mission despite the current challenges, in these uncertain times we need your help more than ever.
Please consider joining us by donating and help continue to support the FHSR community as we move forward to a new normal.