When I was 15 I had a burning ambition to learn BSL (British Sign Language) I went to classes for the next two years, whilst attending school and sixth form. I had no relatives or friends who were deaf at that point, I just felt the need to be able to communicate with the deaf community. It is a beautiful language and both of my daughters know key words in Makaton, and attended Tiny Talk classes. I now have friends and relatives who have hearing difficulties and have (though small) an understanding of the extremely important need to communicate effectively, and the effects of not being able to communicate can have.
So fast forward to last month and being asked, as a blogger to be involved in the Time To share campaign for the Tots 100. I received an email that my charity would be The Ear Foundation, (Nottingham) I could not be more delighted to work with such an amazing charity.
The Ear Foundations Vision :
All deaf children, young people and adults have the opportunity to hear, communicate and develop spoken language using the latest technological interventions.
The Ear Foundation – bridging the gap between clinic-based services, where today’s exciting hearing technologies, such as cochlear implants are fitted, and home, school and work where they are used in daily life.
The Ear Foundation was first set up in 1989, the first person to receive an implant Michael Blatt, who still an advocate to other people thinking of having the operation. At first the Ear Foundation was set up to bring the new technique of cochlear implantation to the UK, making it possible for profoundly deaf children to hear.
Now the Ear Foundation is a unique charity providing support for children across the UK with cochlear implants and hearing aids, and they do this through information, community education, resources, and research & development.
So what is a Cochlear implant?
A cochlear implant is an electronic medical device that replaces the function of the damaged inner ear. Unlike hearing aids, which make sounds louder, cochlear implants do the work of damaged parts of the inner ear (cochlea) to send sound signals to the brain.
So through the charities hard work, they are able to help children, young adults and adults.
Here is a summary of the work that they do:
- Family Programme: Connect & Communicate in Marjorie Sherman House
- Continuing Education Programme in Nottingham, throughout the UK, internationally and on the web
- Sound Advice Programme helping to make the most of the technology
- Advocacy and Lobbying Programme supporting access to the use of appropriate hearing technologies for all who need them
- Family and User-led Research Programme providing evidence-base from our activities
So how can I help as a blogger?
Through the Connect and Communicate Family Programme at Marjorie Sherman House (Nottingham) at the programme there are a wide range of activities/opportunities to learn together with other families about hearing technologies.
- Small Talk – Babies
- Ready Steady Go – Pre-school children
- Leaping! – Primary aged children
- Special Branch – for children with additional and complex needs and cochlear implants
- Xtra Connections – for children with additional and complex needs – in London
- To Infinity – 11-18 year olds
- Sound Advice – Adults
I will be attending the Small Talk, Babies morning on the 18th June 2012. Following that I shall be writing a post to try to explain a little further some of the amazing work that the Ear Foundation carries out in the community. Hopefully this will raise awareness of the charity in the Nottingham community.
I want to leave you with a link to the donation page, and fundraising page on the site, and the thought that a donation to the foundation can help support a child, young person or adult on their journey of communication.
Thank you for reading
Time to Share invites parent bloggers to share an hour or more of their time with a good cause, and write about it. The aim is to help raise the profile of charities across the UK, while giving much-needed practical support to those charities, and highlighting the amazing work being done across the UK by charity volunteers. June is National Volunteering Month, and we’re asking as many bloggers as possible to support the Time to Share campaign by giving some of their time, and helping to share the word about volunteering.