Child’s Voice was started by parents in 1996 as a way to empower their children who have hearing loss to learn and be successful. There are different programs: Early Intervention, a school program, and a transition program (the school program takes children up to 8 years old).
Melissa explained to us how hearing loss happens, what the staff at Child’s Voice do, and the technology that is available to people with hearing loss. What was of most interest to us in public libraries is how we can serve people with hearing loss best.
What we at public libraries can do:
1. Face the person when communicating with them.
2. Find out their name and use it.
3. Use visual aids.
4. Repeat important words and phrases.
5. Provide clear rules and expectations.
6. Talk naturally.
This was just a sample of what we learned, but these are the ones that stuck out to me the most.
After Melissa’s presentation, the representatives from each member library introduced themselves, and then we talked about things that are working in our communities and asked for help/suggestions as needed.
I enjoyed being at this meeting, getting to see the staff from other libraries and the opportunity to learn from each other. Welcoming/including/enjoying the people who have special needs in our communities is a wonderful thing!
This post was written by SNAILS member Anne Wilson of Mount Prospect Public Library.