This is a Public Service Announcement from our West Valley Chapter in Arizona. We wanted to share with you the chapter’s recent outreach effort with the 2020 American Girl Doll of the Year™, Joss Kendrick. We appreciate West Valley’s effort to help reach young people with hearing loss and hope the excitement over Joss can continue to spread all year long! We encourage other chapters to let HLAA know of their outreach efforts with Joss. – Carla Beyer-Smolin, HLAA National Chapter and Membership Coordinator
West Valley Chapter Donates American Girl Doll of the Year, Joss Kendricks to Local Hearing Center
Peoria, Arizona, January 13, 2020: On Friday, January 10, 2020, West Valley Chapter President, Melanie O’Rourke presented Dr. Shanna Mortensen-Dewsnup, Au.D., CCC-A of Happy Ears Hearing Center with the 2020 American Girl Doll of the Year™, Joss Kendrick. “Members of the West Valley Chapter of the HLAA understand the challenges of the hearing loss. The donation of this doll is one way we can help a young person with hearing loss.” O’Rourke said.
This year HLAA and American Girl Doll partnered to increase education and awareness of hearing loss. The 2020 American Girl Doll of the Year™, Joss Kendrick, was born with hearing loss and wears a hearing aid in her right ear.
According to HLAA, three out of every 1,000 children are born with a detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears, and 12.5 percent of children between the ages of six and 19 have hearing loss from listening to loud music. Even a mild loss can cause a child to miss as much as 50 percent of classroom discussions.
“Our membership wanted to support the national campaign with American Girl Dolls and serve the West Valley.“ O’Rourke said. Then added, “A doll like Joss can help a young person with their hearing loss journey.”
The West Valley Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the hearing loss community by offering education, and support. Monthly meetings (October – May) are accessible to individuals with hearing loss through the use of an induction loop system that works with an individual’s telecoil in either their hearing aid or cochlear implant. CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) is also provided so the speaker’s presentations can be read. Visit hearingloss.org for more information.
Contact: Melanie O’Rourke