Empowerment was the word of the hour at CHC's Annual Awards Celebration, May 3rd, honoring advocates and other leaders positively impacting the quality of life for people with hearing loss.
Here's a brief look at some of the memorable and inspiring moments.
CHC Awards Celebration Highlights
President Heather Baker kicked off the celebration with a look at CHC's upcoming programming innovations to ensure continued leadership and best-in-class care:
...There is much to look forward to in the coming year. In our audiology department, we are expanding our tinnitus program to include working with children with tinnitus and clients with misophonia. In the Berelson Hearing Technology Center we're assessing the latest in technology, including over-the-counter hearing aids, to ensure we can offer the latest in hearing technology to our clients. And our speech and language pathologists and audiologists are partnering in a research project with Gallaudet University on the impact of auditory and cognitive training on older adults with cochlear implants...
CHC Staff Psychiatrist, Kate Salvatore, was the Keynote Speaker, sharing her experiences as a young adult having a difficult time accepting her hearing loss:
...Over time I became more assertive and advocated for my needs. I learned how to ask for help, which was really hard, and I learned how to ask for help in a way that felt comfortable for me. People in school became responsive to my needs and became curious about my experience. I realized that educating others about something they knew little about made me feel empowered...
Author Shari Eberts, accepting the Ruth R. Green Advocacy Award, pointed out the role we all can play in furthering hearing loss education and advocacy:
...Each of us with hearing loss is an advocate, whether we realize it or not. Every time we ask someone to speak louder, or request a quieter seat at a restaurant, we're not only advocating for our needs. We are also educating others about hearing loss, clearing the way for better communication for all of us in the future...
Allison Nickerson, accepting the Sheldon Williams Leadership Award on behalf of LiveOn NY, spoke about the organization's role in improving quality of life for older adults:
...LiveOn NY was founded in 1979 to be the collective voice and resource for non-profit organizations that help older adults thrive. Today we are so thankful to have 120 non-profit members that run roughly 1,000 programs. ...Our work is grounded in a steadfast belief that all people deserve to thrive in old age, regardless of race, ethnicity, immigration status, ability, orientation and income level...
Katie Petruzziello, author of Mighty Mila, received the Nitchie Award in Communication and noted the importance of representation in children's books:
...What makes me really, really happy is when I get a message from a parent or from a teacher of the deaf, or from an educator, saying things like: Reading your book helped my child feel empowered. It helped my child keep their cochlear implants or their hearing aids on. It helped them take it to their class and read it to their typical hearing peers, and explain to them a little bit more about what their hearing devices are and what they help them do...
Christina Curry, Commissioner of the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, accepting the Irving Berelson President's Award, spoke on behalf of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community:
...I thank you all for the award. I appreciate it. But it's not just for me. It's for every last person who cannot hear. Be you deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind. Because in the end, we all have that same goal. We want to do what we want. Don't put a limit on us. We are who we are. It's okay...
Congrats to All!
Congratulations to this incredibly deserving roster of honorees and to our scholarship winners—Jonesy, Eddie and Isabela.
A round of applause for Kai, age 5, who read from Mighty Mila during the presentation of the Nitchie Award in Communication.
And a big thank you to Sullivan and Cromwell for hosting the event.
See you at next year's celebration!