Whether it’s the laughter of children playing in the backyard, having a conversation with a friend, or the screams of exuberance when Kevin Love hits a three-point shot, the ability to hear is one of life’s greatest joys.
But for many Cuyahoga County residents, hearing is oftentimes more frustrating than joyful. People with auditory disabilities miss the laughter, conversations and moments of exuberance taken for granted by those with the ability to hear clearly.
In partnership with the Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center, Cuyahoga County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides funds to assist low- income residents with the purchase and repair of hearing aids and other assistive devices through the Audiology Patient Assistance Program (APA).
According to Sabrina Roberts, the Administrator of Health Policy and Programs for DHHS, the APA program bridges the gaps in hearing healthcare as well as helps patients hear better, allows individuals to remain active in the community, maintain or obtain employment and connect with those most important to them.
The APA program is funded through the county’s Health and Human Services levy. More than several hundred county residents have taken advantage of the program, according to county officials.
Dr. Bridgid Whitford, the Director of Hearing Services for the Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center said the partnership with DHHS aligns with the goals and objectives of her agency.
“Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center's vision is a community in which everyone communicates effectively. The APA program is one program that supports this vision by ensuring those with hearing loss are able to access the help they need to regardless of their ability to pay,” said Dr. Whitford.
To be eligible for the program a client must complete an application, live within Cuyahoga County limits (if you live outside of Cuyahoga County, you may be eligible for other funding sources.) and are at or below 300 percent of the Federal Poverty level. Those who qualify for the program will be eligible to receive hearing aids and assistive services at a significantly reduced rate.
The Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center has offices in University Circle, Lyndhurst, Broadview Heights and Westlake. The public is encouraged to call 216-231-8787 to schedule an appointment or to ask for more information about the APA program. You may also visit www.chsc.org.