Inaugural Reception Launches the New Jersey Hearing Aid Project

Hearing Charities of America, Montclair State University and New Jersey Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing join forces on a new collaborative program to provide hearing devices for low income individuals.

The launch of The New Jersey Hearing Aid Project (NJHAP) was announced at an inaugural reception on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 held at Montclair State University. The New Jersey Hearing Aid Project is a unique model and one-of-a-kind collaboration. Recognizing that the need for hearing assistive devices by low income individuals was too great for any one organization, the network was developed to generate the resources and outcomes necessary to improve hearing health of many New Jersey residents.

Without question, it is the first of its kind to specifically address the needs of hearing health statewide. The partnership of three dynamic organizations came off without a hitch and now all three are doing their part to help the program achieve scale. With so many in need, there is no time to delay in getting the word out to those who need services and those who can support the initiative.

In January of this year NJHAP accepted its first applications after a year of planning and coordination by the three partner organizations involved in establishing this unique public assistance program.

The New Jersey Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing will be responsible for processing applications and determining need, while Montclair State University faculty and audiology school students are coordinating hearing screening and managing the hearing aid bank of donated instruments. Hearing Charities of America and its parent organization Sertoma are responsible for building public awareness and generating public support for the NJHAP, including financial and in-kind support from various sources.

“A huge factor in determining the success of the program is based on the assistance we receive from audiologists around the state,” said Janet Koehnke, Chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders of Montclair State University. “So far we are delighted by the response we’ve received as audiologists step up to provide hearing health screenings in support of the program.”

Additional public and private support will be critical to grow the NJHAP beyond the initial resource commitments of the three founding organizations. While the infrastructure of the program has been successfully created, the hearing aids and clinical services needed to support the program are an ongoing need and will develop as demand for services increases.

Early indications show tremendous acceptance and appreciation by recipients of the services provided by NJHAP. “We are not only delighted by the interest we have received by consumers with hearing loss, but by so many people seeking to donate used hearing aids,” related David Alexander, Director of the Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

A major portion of the NJHAP includes fundraising efforts through CELEBRATE SOUND – Don’t Walk in Silence® events, a benefit developed to help generate broad based awareness and support for project outcomes. “It is exciting to receive such a positive response from those that will clearly be future leaders in our communities,” said Steven Murphy, Executive Director of Hearing Charities of America.

About Montclair State University

Montclair State University is home to the only audiology doctoral program in the State of New Jersey. The University is please to collaborate with Sertoma and the NJ DDHH in the New Jersey Hearing Aid Project. Our clinical staff and graduate students will evaluate donated hearing aids and house reconditioned aids for distribution to participating audiologists across New Jersey. The MSU Center for Audiology will also dispense hearing aids to individuals who qualify through the NJ DDHH application process. More Information

About The New Jersey Department of Human Services Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

The New Jersey Department of Human Services Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (NJ DDHH) is pleased to partner with Sertoma and Montclair State University to provide reconditioned hearing aids to those in need with low income. The division receives thousands of inquiries for information, but one of the most common requests are from those seeking hearing aid assistance. More Information

About Sertoma, Inc.

Composed of more than 500 clubs across the country, this civic service organization’s primary goal is to reach those affected by hearing loss and communicative disorders. Sertoma’s members do this through educational programs such as Sertoma SAFEEars!©, scholarships and the Adopt-An-Agency program. Sertoma is the founding partner of Hearing Charities of America. More Information