“Listen-Learn-Link,” the First-Ever Bilingual Hotline for Families with Kids with Hearing Loss

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Early identification and intervention is extremely important for an infant with hearing loss to achieve listening and spoken language skills. The human brain is programmed to learn language during the first six years of life – with the first three-and-a-half years being the most critical. Without intervention, it becomes increasingly difficult to acquire language and literacy as a child grows older.

As part of its Cradle to Career initiative, the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell) launched Listen-Learn-Link, its international new parent hotline for parents, caregivers and guardians of children with hearing loss. The hotline is the first-ever confidential, bilingual (English/Spanish) hotline available for those whose child has been newly identified with a hearing loss.

Parents, caregivers and guardians who call the hotline will speak to Julie ­­­­Swaim, AG Bell’s early intervention parent consultant. As a parent whose child has hearing loss and a seven-year veteran in the EHDI field, Ms. Swaim is fully aware of the challenges associated with hearing loss in children as well as next steps needed to ensure they receive proper diagnosis and treatment.

She will connect them with other resources related to hearing loss. She also has access to qualified hearing and speech professionals whom she can contact for important medical information.

AG Bell designed its new hotline for parents, caregivers and guardians of newly identified children with hearing loss worldwide who possess any degree of unilateral or bilateral hearing loss. The hotline connects parents via telephone, email and video conference to the organization’s Early Intervention Parent Consultant eager to answer parents’ questions, provide hearing loss resources, information, support and next steps related to early hearing detection and intervention (EHDI) and communication options for those with hearing loss.

Having access to another parent who has traveled a similar road can be a lifesaver for new parents of a child with hearing loss. AG Bell is launching its new hotline so new parents, caregivers and guardians can have easy access to a parent who has had similar experiences and who also understands the systems and services that they will soon access for their own child and family.

AG Bell partnered with hearing technology companies Cochlear and GN ReSound to launch the new parent hotline as part of its new Cradle to Career initiative.

Recently launched, AG Bell’s new Cradle to Career initiative provides continued support, resources, information and services for families, children and adults as they continue on their journey with hearing loss.

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