Last week we discussed Mid-South Food Bank. This week let us highlight an institution that has been serving children with hearing loss and their families here in the Mid-South for more than 54 years: Memphis Oral School for the Deaf (MOSD).
MOSD was founded in 1959 to empower deaf children to listen, learn, and talk. What immediately stands out, though, is no sign language is used. They use speech and language therapies and audiological services, in conjunction with pre-school classes, to help profoundly deaf and hard-of-hearing children from birth to five years old. MOSD has a team of professionals, including Audiologists, Speech Pathologists, and Educators who provide these children with specialized training, so they are able to communicate with spoken language, have the opportunity to achieve their academic and personal goals, and successfully transition into a mainstream kindergarten classroom.
As a parent, learning that your child is deaf can be a frightening moment, so imagine the joy of watching your son or daughter singing and playing with others, laughing and talking. Also, appreciate the comfort of having a support network and being trained how to turn everyday activities into listening and language building activities for your child.
The years from birth through age five are the most critical years for the development of listening and spoken language, so timing is a key. Technology also plays a vital role. The advent of powerful hearing aids and cochlear implants are affording children the opportunity to learn to listen and talk at much earlier ages with greater success.
MOSD’s average enrollment is 30 children with a student to teacher ratio of 4 to 1. The current cost of their day school is over $50,000 per child, but they have never turned a child away due to a family’s financial situation, thanks to public and private support.
Consider taking a tour and seeing their success firsthand. They have an annual golf event coming up on October 3rd and their SpeakEasy Gala is next March. They also offer periodic free hearing screenings for the public, which make for an easy introduction. Learn more at www.mosdkids.org.