We all have our passions and mine is making sure every child has an equal opportunity in life. Deaf children are able to hear with the hearing devices and cochlear implants today. With today's technology we have a NEW generation of deaf and hard of hearing children. There is nothing wrong with being deaf but there is everything wrong with not being able to communicate. I was 8 years old when they found out I had a hearing loss and 8 years is a long time to wait to learn a language.
Without communication you can not connect and I spent my childhood feeling very isolated. Self esteem and confidence were no where to be found and my education was pretty much tossed out the window due to hearing aids that were not adaptable to my particular hearing loss. We’re talking about hearing aids back….well we won’t have to say how far back!!
I was like a deer in headlights trying to figure out what I was suppose to do next.
I vowed that I would find a way not to let another child lose out on their childhood due to something as simple as a hearing loss. As adults it is our job to build self-esteem and confidence in our children and give them the tools they need to receive the best education possible.
I have traveled this country in the last 20 years as America’s First Hearing Impaired Comedian and Motivational Speaker. I have encountered many incredible non-profit organizations and schools that provide for children with hearing losses, but none like the one I found in my own backyard in Los Angeles. I met this incredible woman name Michelle Christie about 17 years ago at one of the schools I toured. She is a speech therapist who also saw that the needs of deaf children were not being met in the public school system. She followed her heart and started an incredible organization, NO LIMITS.
NO LIMITS is a renowned nationwide theatre company that has received numerous awards for its extraordinary confidence-building program that changes deaf children’s lives…forever. Deaf children are in professional productions speaking PROUDLY and CONFIDENTLY on stage. They learn life skills that teach them about hard work, perseverance, commitment and having a group of friends that will support them in achieving all their dreams.
Ten years ago, NO LIMITS began an after school program in Los Angeles that provides free services to lower income deaf and hard of hearing children, including speech and language therapy, a reading program, audio-logical services and parent education courses. The truth is lower income deaf children are in a crisis situation! These kids are not receiving the services needed to survive and thrive in the hearing world. A deaf child with hearing devices will not learn to speak without ongoing intensive therapy. It is costly; $100 just for one hour and these kids need 3-5 hours a week. They also desperately need additional support in reading. In 2004, 87% of the deaf children in Los Angeles scored “far below” grade level in reading. It costs us $5,000 per year to meet the needs of just one child. I am looking for funding, sponsorship, and donations of hearing aids.
My dream is to see NO LIMITS grow so that we can accommodate every family. Right now in Los Angeles we can only afford to take on 45 families and at the present time we have a waiting list of a 390 families.
No child should have to be on a waiting list to have his or her needs met.
I was in a school for retardation for 2 years before they realized I just had a hearing loss and sadly it still happens today. Please support NO LIMITS in keeping communication accessible to all children with hearing losses so they to can live their lives with no limitations and with your generosity we can all make this happen. To help support and donate please click NO LIMITS website.