2002 Excellence Award Winners

Excellence in Service for Hearing and Speech

QI of Massillon Ohio, U.S.A.

Project: Sound Beginnings

The Massillon club spearheaded the effort to mandate universal infant hearing screening for newborns before they leave the hospital in Ohio. The legislation was signed into law in Massillon to recognize the club’s five-year commitment to lobbying.

The club moved immediately to assess the effect of the new legislation within their own community and created a plan to help disadvantaged babies assessed with hearing loss whose families lacked money for hearing aids. Funded by the club and a grant from the Sisters of Charity Foundation, the club developed informational brochures, application forms, accounting setup, posters, and other marketing materials to spread the word about the project and secure contracts with hearing aid companies. By April 2002, a club committee began reviewing applications within one week of their receipt and making a difference for Massillon children.

“Our members realize that what can start as a small dream and vision can turn into a reality with the power of our members,” noted Club President Linda Morton. “You cannot make a difference unless you act upon your dream.”

QI of Woonsocket Rhode Island, U.S.A.

Project: Story Hour Program

The Woonsocket club invested in the education of a speech-language pathologist, Stephanie Angelini, who later joined the club and helped create a monthly story hour for local children. Stephanie first reviews basic signs, and then she interprets as other club members read to the children. While hearing-impaired children enjoy participating, hearing kids enjoy learning sign language.

Some 60 children, aged 2-12, participate in this low-cost program that includes stories followed by a craft project. The service has grown into a networking opportunity for families affected by hearing loss. (For more details, see the article in the May 2002 Quota Caring, available online at the We Share Foundation Web at http://www.wesharefoundation.org/foundationpubs.htm.)

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