Monday, April 27, 2015

Hurry! Don’t Forget to Register Now For This Saturday’s “Free Clinic Day!”

















There’s still time to register for the Center’s “Free Clinic Day” this coming Saturday, May 2, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.  All St. Louisans who think their child or family member has a speech, language or hearing disorder are encouraged to make an appointment by calling Mary Anne at (314) 737-5091. 

During Free Clinic Day, parents have an opportunity to talk with speech/language pathologists and doctors of audiology.  Children will receive refreshments and enjoy craft activities, and adults will be given information packets.  

“Communication disorders affect one in six people,” said Gina Cato, Center’s chief speech/language pathologist. “Early detection of communication disorders leads to early treatment, which is critical to a child's overall academic, social and emotional development.”

The Center’s certified Speech/Language Pathologists (SLPs) will be offering speech and language screenings for children ages three years and older. Screenings determine whether a perceived speech and/or language problem exists and requires further evaluation. The screenings will last  15 -30 minutes per child.

“If you haven’t had your hearing professionally-checked within the last five years, you are increasing your risk of mis-hearing key speech and environmental sounds,” said Dr. Frazier, Center’s chief audiologist. “Hearing is one of the most important connections a human has to the world around them and a hearing screening is the first step to finding out what you may be missing.”

Individuals of all ages benefit by receiving the Center’s one-hour hearing assessments. When a hearing loss is present, the Center can assist with hearing aid fittings and repairs, as well as assistive listening devices, such as alarm clocks, fire and smoke detectors for people with hearing loss. Center staff can also provide custom-fit ear plugs for musicians and hunters.

The Center for Hearing & Speech is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that has donated $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.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Special People In Need Donates $1,000 to Support Center’s School Screening Program

SPIN, Inc.










Special People In Need, Inc. has awarded the Center $1,000 to support the Center’s School Screening Program. The funding will provide hearing and vision screenings for 143 local children living in low-income households this year.


“The Center’s School Screening Program has long been recognized as a local leader in the identification of hearing loss and vision challenges and the treatment of hearing disorders,” said Sarah Igoe, Center school screening coordinator. “With help provided by Special People in Need, we can identify hundreds of children, get them started with the appropriate services or therapy and give them the tools necessary to learn.”

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. The Center’s School Screening Program targets children attending schools in some of the most impoverished neighborhoods of St. Louis, identifies hearing and vision problems, and provides feedback and referral information to the children’s parents and guardians. 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 Special People in Need.

The Center’s School Screening Program offers hearing, tympanometry and vision screenings for children at area elementary schools, daycares and Head Start programs. Hearing and vision loss are often described as “invisible handicaps,” causing problems that are not easily detected but can be devastating to children as they develop.

These hearing and vision screenings identify problems that are among the most treatable health issues affecting young children. 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.

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.

Center Receives $30,000 Gift to Support Speech-Language Programs


A generous anonymous donor has pledged $30,000 to support the Center’s Speech-Language Program this year, with a pledge of an additional $30,000 gift in 2016.

“What incredible gifts that will allow our Center speech-language pathologists to help children with speech/language delays or disorders in 2015 and 2016,” said Rita Tintera, Center executive director. “Gifts like these ensure the Center moves forward with much needed services for children who are at great risk of having communication problems at such a young age. These gifts allow us to correct early on what could be a lifetime of problems for these individuals if they were not addressed.”

The funding will be used to enhance the Center’s Speech-Language Program, which includes screenings, diagnostic evaluations and therapy programs. Screenings determine whether a perceived speech-language problem exists and requires further evaluation. Evaluations are in-depth examinations to identify the type and severity of a child’s speech-language problem, set goals for improvement and provide information to help design an individualized program of therapy for the child.

All evaluators use standardized tests to provide accurate diagnostic information. Evaluations last one to two hours. The therapist provides a written report and verbal consultations if warranted. 

Therapy works to achieve goals set for individual improvement and age-appropriate skills. The number and frequency of therapy sessions varies greatly depending on the individual. During therapy, parents may observe their child to learn techniques to use at home or just to follow progress.

The Center’s Speech-Language Program includes services performed on-site at the clinic and off-site at several local daycare centers, schools and health centers including: Agape Academy; Grace Hill Head Start; Grace Hill Child Development Center (two locations); City Academy; Hilltop Child Development Center; Lemay Child & Family Center; St. Cecilia School and Academy; Stella Maris Child Center; Tower Grove Christian Preschool; Most Holy Trinity Catholic School and Blossom Wood Day School. 

The Center’s speech-language program is administered by speech-language pathologists who are master-degreed, state-licensed and nationally accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). They provide compassionate and quality care for stuttering; speech-language development; intelligibility of speech/articulation; auditory processing disorder; voice disorders; tongue thrust; accent modification and language disorders..

If you think your child or someone you know has a speech-language disorder, call the Center for an evaluation at (314) 968-4710. Services are provided through insurance and Medicaid programs. Financial assistance is available based on documented need.


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.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Big Thanks to Martha Coleman, Communications & Volunteer Manager!











Center thanks Martha Coleman, communications and volunteer manager, for her dedication and effort the past five years in the Center’s Development Department. Coleman has recently moved on to a new job in the St. Louis area.

As a member of the Development Department, Coleman coordinated special events, including the recent successful “Swinging to the Beat” fundraiser; managed the volunteer and Young Friends programs; organized a variety of marketing communications activities and assisted Jeff Tarr, Center’s development director, with department projects. 

“Martha was a tremendous part of our Center family,” Tarr reflects. “She is one of the most organized people I have ever known! Not only is she extremely detail-oriented, she always was able to provide that extra recognition for volunteers and staff members. Sometimes it’s the little things that count, and Martha knew just how to make you feel special. Oh yeah … and she’s one of the biggest St. Louis Cardinals fans around!”
  
Coleman said one of her proudest accomplishments was building the Center’s volunteer program.  She enjoyed working at the Center knowing that her work had a direct impact of serving individuals in the community with communication disorders. She plans to continue to stay involved with Center’s Young Friends group.

 “The Center is a wonderful organization; there are plenty of ways for everyone to get involved, I recommend they do,” Coleman said. “It’s a very rewarding place to work. I loved working with the volunteers and loved that no two days were the same.”

She felt a special connection to the Center’s cause because one of her best friends is hearing impaired and her brother received speech therapy when he was younger.

Coleman started at Center shortly after graduating from Truman State University in Kirksville with a major in marketing. As the first of three Americorps* Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), she was assigned to several Center capacity-building projects, including establishing a formal volunteer program and helping to increase community awareness. After  volunteering as a Development Coordinator, she was hired as a Development Assistant. She was later promoted to Administrative Assistant/Project Coordinator, then to Communications and Volunteer Manager.

In her spare time, Coleman and her fiance are busy with florist and cake-tasting appointments in preparation for their fall wedding.

The Center for Hearing & Speech is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that provides $1.75 million in speech-language and audiology services to residents of metropolitan St. Louis.

It is a proud member of the United Way and in October was awarded the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) 2014 TORCH award. The award is given to businesses and charities that “demonstrate a commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices,” according to the BBB. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Support May 5 “Give STL Day”












On Tuesday, May 5, the Center for Hearing & Speech will be participating as a recipient in the annual 24-hour online donation challenge, “Give STL Day 2015” to raise funds for local nonprofits. 

Give STL Day’s 2015 sponsor, the Greater St. Louis Community Foundation (GSLCF), is enlisting the support of area citizens, businesses and media to help promote the massive one-day joint fundraising effort.  The goal of the event is to motivate all St. Louisans to go online and give generously to their favorite local nonprofits. There are an estimated 12,000 nonprofits in the greater metropolitan region. Last year’s Give STL Day generated 13,000 donations for a variety of worthy causes.

“Our first Give STL Day was a huge success—we raised over $1,108,815 in one day for more than 528 participating nonprofits,” said Mary McMurtrey, the Foundation’s director of community engagement.“We truly became one community while promoting philanthropy. So let’s do it again!”

Center director of development, Jeff Tarr, agrees with McMurtrey, and adds that giving on Give STL Day can really make a difference for St. Louis area residents in need.

“Giving through Give STL Day is incredibly easy and convenient and goes far in helping St. Louisans to receive the hearing and speech/language therapy they need to correct their communication disorders,” Tarr said. “Give STL Day is yet another way to reach out and help neighbors in need!”

Give STL Day donations will be accepted on Tuesday, May 5, 2015, from midnight to midnight. All donations must be made online via computer or smartphone at givestlday.org during that 24-hour period. Those wishing to give do not have to live in the St. Louis area to donate but the nonprofits must be located in the greater Saint Louis region. The website will feature searchable donation pages for participating nonprofits and donors can track fundraising progress throughout the day. Prizes will be offered to recognize the top donations. 

Supporters may use a credit or debit card to donate to any nonprofit that has registered to participate. Anonymous donations will be accepted. Donations begin at $10 and there is no limit to the maximum size or number of donations accepted. A Give STL Day donation will be restricted for that chosen charity and will not be given to any other charity. Donors cannot designate a donation for a specific program at a nonprofit. All donations made on givestlday.org are 100-percent tax deductible and non-refundable. GSLCF and your chosen nonprofit will email out a thank you and a tax receipt.

GSLCF encourages St. Louisans to support their local nonprofits with year-round giving, in addition to the Tuesday, May 5 city-wide charitable holiday. “Spread the word among your own friends and networks about Give STL Day and the good work nonprofits do in our community,” McMurtrey said. Give STL Day is based on other successful giving days hosted by community foundations across the country.

For more details on Give STL Day 2015, contact the Greater St. Louis Community Foundation at 314.588.8200 or info@stlgives.org.    

 The Center for Hearing & Speech is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that has donated $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.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Center Hosts Free Clinic Day May 2



In honor of May’s “National Better Hearing and Speech Month”, the Center is hosting its 17th annual Free Clinic Day on Saturday, May 2, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

During Free Clinic Day, parents have an opportunity to talk with speech/language pathologists and doctors of audiology.  Children will receive refreshments and enjoy craft activities, and adults will be given information packets.  

“Communication disorders affect one in six people,” said Gina Cato, Center’s chief speech/language pathologist. “Early detection of communication disorders leads to early treatment, which is critical to a child's overall academic, social and emotional development.”

The Center’s certified Speech/Language Pathologists (SLPs) will be offering speech and language screenings for children ages three years and older. Screenings determine whether a perceived speech and/or language problem exists and requires further evaluation. The screenings will last 15 -30 minutes per child.

“If you haven’t had your hearing professionally-checked within the last five years, you are increasing your risk of mishearing key speech and environmental sounds,” said Dr. Frazier, Center’s chief audiologist. “Hearing is one of the most important connections a human has to the world around them and a hearing screening is the first step to finding out what you may be missing.”

Individuals of all ages benefit by receiving the Center’s one-hour hearing assessments. When a hearing loss is present, the Center can assist with hearing aid fittings and repairs, as well as assistive listening devices, such as alarm clocks, fire and smoke detectors for people with hearing loss. Center staff can also provide custom-fit ear plugs for musicians and hunters.

St. Louisans who think their child or family member has a speech, language or hearing disorder are encouraged to make an appointment to attend Free Clinic Day starting today. To make an appointment, call Mary Anne at (314) 737-5091.  

The Center for Hearing & Speech is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that has donated $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.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Hear Malawi: Photography Project for African Teenagers With Hearing Loss



What is your favorite sound? These teenagers have been presenting their answers in visual form. They use digital cameras donated by Fujifilm to capture sounds and scenes from their everyday lives that portray their newly discovered world of sound.

The Hear the World Foundation is challenging young people in the African Republic of Malawi to photograph their favorite sounds, which they can hear again thanks to their new hearing aids.

The Foundation, in collaboration with Philipp Rathmer, well-known German photographer, has launched a photography workshop for teenagers with hearing loss. During the three-day workshop the teenagers were instructed on the proper handling of a camera and embarked on their own photo mission.
The extraordinary pictures taken by the teenagers during the photography workshop provide a pure insight into their lives and the newly discovered world of sounds. The project also shows that children and young people who receive treatment for their hearing loss have the same chances and opportunities as their contemporaries with normal hearing.
The non-profit Hear the World Foundation campaigns worldwide for equal opportunities and a better quality of life for people with hearing loss. It particularly supports projects designed to help children in need with impaired hearing. Unless they receive the audiological and medical care they require, children with hearing loss have difficulty learning to speak. In low-income countries like Republic of Malawi, the consequences of this are especially far-reaching: the children affected have almost no chance of receiving a school education, they do not develop at an appropriate rate for their age, and as a result they face social exclusion.
In close cooperation with Australian organization EARS Inc., and the African Bible Colleges (ABC) Malawi, the Hear the World Foundation has been supporting people with hearing loss in Republic of Malawi since 2011. The focus has been on building and establishing a clinic and training center in the capitol city of Lilongwe. Since its ceremonial opening in 2013, hundreds of people with hearing loss have been helped at the clinic.
For more information, visit the Hear The World Foundation’s website at www.hear-the-world.com.
The Center for Hearing & Speech is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that has donated $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.