Approximately 34 million Americans have a significant hearing loss according to the Health Statistics of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Of these 34 million Americans almost six million are profoundly deaf.
In 1970 the National Grange adopted deafness as its health project. Throughout the years this program has evolved to include all levels of hearing loss. Local Granges support the program by educating themselves and others about hearing loss. Projects which benefit deaf and hard of hearing persons are accomplished by the The Massachusetts State Grange Deaf and Hearing Awareness Programs.
The Massachusetts State Grange Deaf and Hearing Awareness Health Project is the Beverly School for the Deaf, Parent-Infant/Toddler Program. This is a family centered program that provides educational services to families with deaf and hard of hearing children from infancy to three years of age. Services are also offered to deaf children with special needs, cochlear implants, and to hearing children with special communication needs who may benefit from a combined auditory/visual presentation of language. The Beverly School for the Deaf serves students from birth to 22 years of age with special language, communication and learning needs.
The Massachusetts State Grange Deaf and Hearing Awareness Hearing Aid Fund helps Grange members who have purchased a hearing aid in the past year. The amount actually reimbursed depends upon how much is donated by Granges to the fund for the year, and how many Grange members apply for reimbursement. Only members (including Juniors) in good standing on the date of application will be eligible for reimbursement of up to $200 per hearing aid per year. A copy of the bill and a personal letter in which the applicant sets forth his/her own request for the award must be sent to the State Deaf Awareness Specialists by June 30. Reimbursement checks are processed only once per year in September.