Feed on

It seemed the obvious thing to do, the natural next step.  The Breaking the Sound Barriers book has been so well received in Australia, not only by families of deaf children for whom it was originally intended, but also by deaf people many of whom have commented that they wished that they had had read something like this many years ago.  It just felt right to take this resource overseas where more people could benefit from it. 

So on 6 May 2010, I boarded a flight for the US with the aim of spreading the word about Breaking the Sound Barriers to families of deaf and hard of hearing children and deaf and hard of hearing people over there. 

Since being here, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting some of the best facilities for the deaf and hard of hearing in the world. 

DePaul School for Hearing & Speech, Pittsburgh

On 11 May 2010, I met with Lillian Lippencott and John Krysinsky at the DePaul School for Hearing and Speech in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

Established in 1908, DePaul is a beautiful state approved private school serving auditory education to approximately 70 deaf and hard of hearing children.  DePaul’s mission is ‘to prepare these children, from birth to age 14, to fully participate in our hearing and speaking world.’   Their extensive services include paediatric cochlear implant habilitation, speech, physical and occupational therapy and parent education. It is not-for-profit institution and their programs are offered tuition-free to parents and caregivers of approved students. 

As part of its end of school year festivities, DePaul will be hosting an evening called ‘Breaking Sound Barriers’ on Wednesday 2 June from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.  There I will be speaking about the book, Breaking the Sound Barriers as part of a panel of deaf and hard of hearing DePaul alums and family members who will be sharing their own personal accounts of success. This is sure to be an inspiring event.  Please contact De Paul School for Hearing and Speech (412) 924-1012 or visit www.speakmiracles.org  if you wish to attend. 

Center for Hearing & Deaf Services, Pittsburgh

 On 14 May 2010, I met with Jessica Knoche at the Center for Hearing & Deaf Services (HDS) on 1945 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh who gave me a tour of the Center and introduced me to all the wonderful staff who work there. 

HDS’ mission is ‘to provide a diverse and affordable program of quality diagnostic, rehabilitative and supportive services designed to address problems experienced by children and adults who are deaf or hard of hearing and serve as an information and referral source for this population and the general public.’

HDS’ professional staff have developed innovative programs, including the first Chemical Dependency Program for the deaf and hard of hearing population in the tri-state area, an assistive listening and signaling device demonstration and sale centre, a program providing activities for deaf and hard of hearing youth, and a Hearing Aid Recycling Program.

On 4 June 2010, the Center for Hearing and Deaf Services will be taking part in the the 2010 Disability Awareness Celebration hosted by the Pittsburgh Pirates at the ballpark on Federal Street, Pittsburgh.  Starting at 4.30pm, there will be a pre-game fair with vendors, service agencies and more.  I will be there at the Centre for Hearing & Deaf Services stand so please come and say hello!

 A Night of Remarkable Women, No Limits for Deaf Children, Los Angeles

On Tuesday 18 May 2010, I had the privilege of being invited to speak to families of deaf and hard of hearing children about Breaking the Sound Barriers: 9 deaf success stories.  The event, “A Night of Remarkable Women’ was hosted by the wonderful organisation, No Limits for Deaf Children, in Culver City, Los Angeles. 

The mission of No Limits is ‘to meet the auditory, speech and language needs of deaf children and enhance their confidence through the theatrical arts and individual therapy as well as provide family support and community awareness on the needs and talents of deaf children who are learning to speak.’

Founded in 1996, No Limits is the only theatre group in the nation for children with a hearing loss who speak and listen. The children of No Limits have performed in over 55 productions in over 10 states, reaching an audience, to date, of over 30,000 people. Their work has been featured in the New York Times, Newsday and Oprah.

Michelle Christie-Adams is the Founder, Director and Playwright of No Limits. Michelle is a highly inspiring individual.  Herself a qualified teacher, she combines her love of teaching children with over 18 years of experience in the entertainment industry. Michelle has received numerous awards and honours for her work with the No Limits organisation, including “Top 100 Heroes” award from Volvo for Life, and The George Washington Medal of Honor from the Freedom Foundation.

The Night of Remarkable Women included the acclaimed Kathy Buckley, America’s first Hard of Hearing Comedienne, and 5 time American Comedy Awards Nominee for ‘Best Stand up Female Comedienne’.  Kathy has been featured on The Tonight Show, CNN, EXTRA, the Today Show and numerous other media. 

Kathy is a truly amazing woman.  Her hearing loss was undiagnosed until she was eight years old, she was incorrectly labelled ‘retarded’ as a child, had cervical cancer when she was 27 and was run over by a jeep while lying on a beach becoming bedridden for five years. 

She uses humour to educate people about hearing loss.  “My comedy disarms people,” says Kathy. “I love to make people laugh, but I love it even more if I can teach them something at the same time.” 

Kathy asked families of deaf and hard of hearing children to become advocates for their children and that has become her mission in life. 

Australia would definitely benefit from inviting this wonderful woman to speak.  Everyone could learn a lot from her.  She has you laughing and crying in the same moment. 

Another ‘remarkable woman’ invited to speak at the No Limits event was Rhianon Gutierrez, a 22 year old filmmaker with hearing loss.  After overcoming many challenges in her youth, this incredible young woman went on to become a star filmmaker at Chapman University where she received a ten-minute standing ovation for her film, “When I’m Alone.” Since then, her film has gone on to win numerous awards on the international film circuit. 

The last on the panel was the delightful Enid Wizig, 87, who shared her story of what it was like growing up with hearing loss during the great depression before modern technology.  Despite having to wear bulky body hearing aids, Enid went on to enjoy a successful career as an animator, becoming the first deaf artist of Looney Tunes in the 1940s. 

These are examples of women, who despite numerous obstacles, have never given up and have gone on to incredible success.  Everyone who attended had an uplifting and, for many, life-changing, experience. 

A huge thank you to Michelle Christie-Adams, the director of No Limits, to Kara Navin, Project Coordinator and to Richard Martinez, Director of Development at No Limits for putting on the event.  Check their website www.kidswithnolimits.org for more information on their future events and programs.

Related posts:

  1. Sizwe Cash Loans
  2. Aa Personal Loan Number
  3. Cash Advance Cash Checks
  4. Payday Loan Auburn Washington
  5. Payday Loan Cash Instant
  6. Cash Advance LA 90023
  7. Cash Emergency Loan
  8. Payday Advance Net
  9. Are Online Loans Good
  10. Electronic Cash Advance
  11. Welcome to the Breaking the Sound Barriers blog!
  12. Joanna’s story – Breaking the invisible glass between us
  13. The Power of a Parent Support Network for Parents of Deaf Children
  14. Two more fantastic reviews of Breaking the Sound Barriers
  15. Radio interview about Breaking the Sound Barriers with Power Women Magazine

Leave a Reply