Hear the World and the music in it

Hear the World is teaming with international musicians to spread the word about hearing loss, an issue that affects 16 percent of the world’s population, including my 8-year-old daughter, Riley.

Riley shows off her pink processor.

Riley was born deaf–the hair cells in her inner ear don’t work–because of a genetic mutation called Connexin 26. It sounds crazy, but we are lucky. The type of hearing loss she has, sensorineural loss, is treatable. Not curable, but treatable. Riley uses cochlear implants to hear … and laugh … and sing … and dance to the music.

Awareness, from our family to her teachers to her friends, is a big part of her success. And that’s what Hear the World is all about.

In July, eight students, some with hearing loss, some with typical hearing, took a trip to the Peruvian Amazon. They worked together to “break the unnecessary stigma around hearing loss while learning to use adversity to their advantage.”

According to Hear the World, “The acoustical environment of the Peruvian Amazon is a complex symphony exploding with life–where one’s ability to listen is increasingly magnified.

Zoe learns about music from a Yagua tribe member in Peru.

For that reason, it is the perfect setting to educate students about the importance of hearing and the consequences of hearing loss.”

During the trip, the group used a special underwater microphone to wirelessly transmit underwater sounds to students wearing cochlear implants or hearing aids.

The students heard sounds they never knew existed because they can’t get their devices wet. The video of their reactions is priceless.

Jentry Taylor listens with her cochlear implant.

When you combine technology and awareness, the results are amazing!

Gary Quenzer listens to underwater sounds through a special device.

Thanks to Hear the World for the photos and videos!

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Signs of hearing loss
in children:

Doesn’t startle at loud noises. If you drop a book
on the floor, does your infant jump?
Doesn’t turn toward sounds. When you speak does your baby look toward you?
Doesn’t respond to his name by 7-10 months.
No babbling by 11-15 months. Does your toddler imitate sounds when you talk to her?
Delayed speech. Does your 18-month-old say “mama,” “dada,” “ball” or other similar words?

If you recognize any of these signs, contact your pediatrician for a referral to an audiologist who will test your child’s hearing. If spoken language is your goal, the sooner a hearing loss is identified, the better chance of success.

6 Responses to Hear the World and the music in it
  1. Lara
    August 25, 2010 | 9:02 am

    This is AMAZING! We need to hook you up with Bailey of Makeover Momma who does TONS for the hearing impaired community, of which she belongs.

  2. Bailey
    August 25, 2010 | 9:33 am

    Oh my gosh- you’re right Lara! We 100% need to work together. I try and do what I can to raise awareness about hearing loss (both myself and my youngest are effected)- but I’ve really been wanting to do more (including bring dance to the hearing impaired). Music and dance are so closely connected… I’d love to chat and get involved! My email is bailey@makeovermomma.com

  3. Ri
    August 25, 2010 | 9:52 am

    I love that they did this! “Hear the World” isn’t just a slogan – they put it into action. Trip of a lifetime!

  4. Melisa
    August 25, 2010 | 1:18 pm

    This is AWESOME.
    Melisa´s last [type] ..Chris Blake Has NOT Been To Germany

  5. Mari
    August 25, 2010 | 2:34 pm

    Great info, Tiff! What an amazing program to help people – I love that! And I love that they include “typical” kids too – it’s so important for all kids to see that they’re not so very different even if they are differently abled.
    :) Mari
    Mari´s last [type] ..Im not dead yet

  6. Paul
    October 11, 2010 | 5:34 pm

    Learn to use American Language to ease communication together with preverbal infant or toddler at classes taught by Monta Briant, author of Infant Sign

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