Our charity was built on a story and a mission. The story is based on one little girl’s story. Lexi was born profoundly deaf, but healthcare checkpoints repeatedly missed her. Doctors and misdiagnosis plagued her first couple of years leaving her without access to sound, speech and language and connection to those around her. (story HERE.)
The “Songs” in Songs for Sound is because Lexi’s mother, our founder, Jaime, would rock Lexi every night. She had been repeatedly told “Lexi is fine” even though Lexi wasn’t developing language and Jaime was asking a lot of questions. And Lexi couldn’t hear her mom’s lullabies, even squirming and crying at night upon being rocked. Jaime thought didn’t connect with her, not that she couldn’t.
After she was skipped for a newborn hearing screening at birth, after being told Lexi was “fine” after she failed a 10-week hearing test in both ears, after Lexi’s parents were told she should return in 6-9 months when the standard of care is 2-4 weeks and after a pediatrician continued to dismiss Jaime’s concerns at that 13 month follow up when Lexi was still unable to produce first words or respond to noises….Songs for Sound slowly started its story.
At 13.5 months, Jaime had pushed her way to Vanderbilt for a full hearing evaluation and test. On that day, Lexi was diagnosed as being profoundly deaf in both ears. On that day, the gaps in hearing healthcare were so clear, but those gaps finally began to close.
1. Lexi and her family gained real, actual information … AWARENESS of hearing loss. Information they never had before.
2. Lexi had ACCESS to a hearing test and evaluation.
3. Lexi was moved into ACTION that changed her life.
So what does that have to do with OTC hearing aids? EVERYTHING. We believe people should have awareness, access and be empowered to take action. We also believe in affordability.
Over the past 11 years, Songs for Sound has hosted over 900 free hearing events, served over 700 community organizations and given over 31,000 free hearing tests, counseled and empowered Americans to hear. We build hearing health profiles on everyone we see. It’s information “beyond the test”. We have polled and spoken with every person we serve and the feedback continually points to a lack of good information (awareness), people don’t know where to go or what to do (access) and they don’t know how important it is to take action and get help.
LESS THAN 10% OF THOSE WHO COULD BENEFIT FROM HEARING TECHNOLOGY ARE SEEKING SOLUTIONS THAT COULD CHANGE THEIR LIVE.
Our charity’s organization is focused on not only serving people with untreated hearing loss, but also listening to what concerns actually exist. We talk to Americans and get feedback to build solutions.
9% of people we screened report they believe in hearing technology.
NINE PERCENT. We have screened and surveyed over 31,000 people and 9% say they believe in hearing technology. Want to know some common answers as to why?
We counsel and generate real, actual and good information.
Them: ”I didn’t connect with the audiologist.”
Songs for Sound: ”You need the RIGHT audiologist for you and we can help make that match!”
Them: “The audiologist didn’t listen to me when I told them I can’t afford expensive hearing aids.”
Songs for Sound: “Our hearing health profile and approach provides the audiologist with a personalized profile for each person, prepares it for the audiologist and ensures they know your affordability, desires prior to the appointment.”
Them: ”Hearing aids didn’t work for me.”
Songs for Sound: ”Your hearing aids may need serviced or you may need better programming based on your hearing loss.”
Them: ”It was too complicated.”
Songs for Sound: “It doesn’t have to be with help from our Care Team.”
Them: “I can’t afford them.”
Songs for Sound: “Yes you can! There are solutions for everyone from lower priced hearing aids to monthly payments.”
LET’S GET TO THE OTC TOPIC
OTC is drawing more attention to the topic of hearing loss. This is important because again, 9% of our champions served report they don’t believe in hearing solutions. If we can continue to draw attention to this matter, the better.
Also, 48% of those we tested had a MILD hearing loss. These are people we consider to be “warm champions” in our discussion funnel. We know they may not have had a conversation about hearing aids. Purchasing hearing aids is an investment and many aren’t ready. One bonus of OTC hearing aids is it gives people an “entry point” to getting used to hearing aids before making a more expensive purchase.
The greatest positive to OTC hearing aids is that untreated hearing loss can cause a myriad of problems.
- low self-esteem
- feeling isolated
- lesser pay
- literacy delays (in children)
- cognitive decline
- safety issues
So all in all, we endorse and area excited about OTC hearing aids being available. However, we highly recommend you see an audiologist first and get a quality hearing test.
Visit our website HERE to find a reputable clinic in your area and download FREE RESOURES.