Written by Alissa Hill - Charities Coordinator, Elks of Canada
As I sit in The French Press café on Albert St in Regina I am struck by the rhythm in sound of a classic coffee shop scene one might expect to hear on a Monday afternoon…
I close my eyes and I can hear the grind and churn of coffee beans, accompanied by the tempting aroma, chatter from the couple next to me, soft music chirping effervescently. What a joy it is to be able to order my cappuccino and scone with ease, to enjoy the serenity that comes with the comfort of certainly sounds provides. What is constant in our life is easy to take for granted, and difficult to imagine that we would ever be without it. Hearing is a privilege.
There are many people in the world who have never heard anything nor ever will and their other senses such as feel, sight and taste elevate to enjoy a beautiful world in a different way than sounds provide. However, this isn’t to say that to have a hearing disorder doesn’t pose its challenges.
Tasks as simple as attending class, going through the grocery till or ordering a cappuccino at your favorite café can be intimidating, and challenging.
As a child attending elementary school I always had challenges learning math. When I had trouble, or didn’t understand the teacher I could simply ask and receive guidance. However, I can only imagine how much more discouraging school in general, let alone difficult subjects would quickly transform if my hearing were impaired. This silent prison of frustration, and defeat is a reality for many children across Canada. On average hearing aids for a child in Canada can cost anywhere from $1,500 – $5,000 and there are many children who sit in the same classroom as your child who face the obstacle of hearing challenges because their parents are unable to access the coverage or funding to provide their child with the gift of sound.
For most children with hearing impairments, hearing aids are the simple solution that take them from hearing half the point to hearing sentences crisply and fully. I can imagine how frustrating it would be to have a solution at the tip of your finger, yet have that glimmering of a chance at evening the playing field dissolved because you are unable to find funding. In the grand scheme of life, is money not irrelevant to determine someone’s access to basic human rights and healthcare? Not only do hearing aids provide the very basic human right to communication, they give a child confidence. The facts speak loud and clear, on average, a child with mild to moderate hearing loss achieve 1-4 levels lower than their peers with normal hearing.
Parent’s number one priority is to provide their children with as many opportunities and the best start at a good life as they can. Not everyone is working on an equal playing field, and that is why as a community we come together to ensure the success of ALL of our children and society as a whole.
If your son’s friend needed a ride home from basketball practice because his parents were home un-expectantly sick would you give them a lift or would you let the 10 year old walk home alone at 10pm at night? The answer seems simple and that’s why when you’re asked to donate to Elks & Royal Purple Fund for Children the answer is also simple. What would humanity be if we didn’t look out for one another? After all, as easily as a roll of dice you could be the one who doesn’t have the ability to buy hearing aids for your child. Our circumstance in life is often set by a series of events, and is sometimes demined by fate. We can make the world an inclusive place to live, where every child has a chance at a bright, healthy, and happy future.
Elks & Royal Purple Fund for Children provide personal assistance to children under 19 years of age so they can access the medical equipment they need such as hearing aids, speech therapy, conversion vans and more! Funding is also provided by the charity to programs across the country that assist children with hearing disorders such as VOICE, SPARC, ISTAR and BC Family Hearing Clinic. Royal Purple Fund for Children also contribute funding to the research of hearing loss and prevention.
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