Hear Now is an excellent source of help for hearing aids if the person
qualifies financially, and is not a Medicaid eleigible client or if the
State does not cover hearing aids as part of the optional services under
Medicaid. Each State has the option as to what they will and won't cover
under the optional services,i.e. speech therapy, dental, hearing aids,
audiology. Hear Now helps those families that may fall between the cracks.
Some of your local community groups may also be a source of help. In Iowa
the Lion's have a used hearing aid bank that audiologists and dispensers
may request assistance through. A local fraternal chapter where the family
lives, may take on a fundraising project to purchase that piece of
equipment. Groups to ask for help would be Sertoma, Mason's, Job's
Each State is suppose to be developing an Assistive Technology Loan Fund
through a federal grant project. In Iowa we have the Iowa Able Foundation
which is in the fundraising stage now in order to get bank backed loans
hopefuly 2% below prime which will help persons or families to get loans
for assistive technology since banks are often resistant to loaning money
out for "personal" items, since it is hard to use that item as collateral
if a default should occur. The other advantage is it allows the disabled
person to establish a credit history. Iowa is trying to imitate the
excellent Maine program that was established in the mid-80's.
If you the audiologist write a letter to the manufaturer of the device and
STATE that you will DONATE your services in dispensing the piece of
equipment, some manufactures will donate the equipment with that
stipulation, ie Starkey Fund.
If audiology is truly a career and a passion, then be willing to get out
there and be involved in both educating the general public and really using
your knowledge for the betterment of your community. Volunteer to serve on
State committees to make decisions about Medicaid, join fraternal
organizations, ie. Scottish Rite Masons donate to Wendell Johnson Speech
and Hearing Center, U of Iowa, Iowa City for children's language disorders
research, etc. etc. Don't just sit and grumble ---make a difference!!!
Sandra Hobson, M.A., CCC-A
DiCarlo Award '93 ASHF