Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Wells Fargo Advisors Gives Program Donates $2,500 to Center’s School Screening Program
Wells Fargo Advisors Gives Program has awarded the Center $2,500 to support the Center’s School Screening Program. This year’s funding will provide hearing and vision screenings for local children living in low-income households.
“This gift will go far to help children in the St. Louis public schools who are in need of hearing or vision evaluations to detect unseen disabilities,” said Jeff Tarr, Center development director. “Having the support of companies like Wells Fargo Advisors is extremely important for Center outreach operations that help children who could ‘slip through the cracks’ with their problems if it wasn’t for this kind of assistance. We’re thrilled to have Wells Fargo Advisors support!”
Often described as "invisible disabilities" because they cause problems that are not easily detected, hearing and vision deficits can be devastating to a child's development and school success. These hearing and vision screenings identify problems that are among the most treatable health issues affecting young children. The Center’s School Screening Program offers hearing, tympanometry and vision screenings for children in area elementary schools, daycares and Head Start programs. Targeting children attending schools in some of the most impoverished neighborhoods of St. Louis, the Program provides helpful feedback and referral information to the children’s parents and guardians.
Hearing screenings are performed with portable audiometers and headsets. A child hears a series of beeps to which he/she responds by raising a hand. Tympanometry is performed to detect middle ear problems such as ear infections or fluid behind the eardrum.
Vision screenings are done with the latest Haag-Streit Stimuli Advanced Acuity System.
The Center provides follow up information, referral resources and a caring and competent staff to inform parents and guardians about their child’s health needs. The families of children who do not pass a screening receive referral information and details about the importance of follow-up care as well as a phone call from the Center’s staff to answer any questions. If hearing loss and/or vision problems are detected, parents have the opportunity to act early and receive treatment to address the problem and prevent a potentially long-term, negative impact upon the child’s development.
The School Screening Program has been very successful, steadily growing since its inception in 1969. The Center continues to seek new ways to cost-effectively partner with other organizations and increase the number of children screened. In 2014, the Center screened 14,156 children, 81 percent of which were free. To date, the Center has been able to provide free screenings to every child who qualifies because of funding support from organizations like Wells Fargo Advisors Gives Program.
If you are interested in having the School Screening Program come to your school, call the Center at 314-968-4710 for more information. Screenings cost $7 per child, and financial assistance is available for a limited number of schools each year.
The Center for Hearing & Speech is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that donates $1.75 million in speech-language, school screening and audiology services to residents of metropolitan St. Louis and surrounding communities. It is a proud member of the United Way of Greater St. Louis and was awarded the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) 2014 TORCH Award. The award is given to charities and businesses that “demonstrate a commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices,” according to the BBB.