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Parent Advocacy Training

Parent Advocacy Training (PAT) was designed and developed by AG Bell parents interested in sharing their wealth of experience in advocating for their children. PAT provides information and resources for advocating for children through negotiation skills and a foundation in legal information. Through PAT, parents learn from the successes and failures of other parents as they all learn to achieve better services for their children with hearing loss. After completing PAT, you will be able to:

  • Use negotiation skills to prepare and manage your own child's Individualized Education Program or Individual Family Service Program.
  • Access legal information (laws, regulations, policies, etc.) that will provide you with a solid foundation for obtaining services and support for your child.

Now you can complete a FREE online PAT module in English or Spanish. For more information, please click here.

If you are unable to complete PAT online, please refer to our older course materials:

Additionally, here are some resources for you as you prepare for IFSP and IEP meetings:

We are often asked whether a general teacher, general therapist, or a general clinician is an appropriate provider for a child who is learning to listen and speak. The answer is, it depends on your child and the clinician... For example: 1) how far behind is your child, 2) is s/he a "new" listener, 3) is s/he using a new device (e.g., hearing aid, cochlear implant, FM), 4) has s/he bonded with the device, and 5) what types of speech/language/pragmatic delays is s/he demonstrating.

Similarly, there may be qualified professionals who are not Listening and Spoken Language Specialists (though LSLS is slowly becoming the measure of competency). In a legal precedent, in the Selpa school district in California, a judge ruled: "There is a window of opportunity when a child is young to maximize the development of auditory brain structure and thus his or her ability to hear and speak." In other words, in many cases we cannot "wait and see" if the interventions offered are appropriate.

The judge also ruled that "credentials alone do not necessarily qualify an individual to provide all possible services under that credential." The therapists and teachers must "have the necessary background, training, and experience to implement an appropriate auditory/verbal program." Click here to read the legal precedent from the Selpa Case.

Support a Hearing Aid Insurance Benefit for Children in Indiana!

49 people have signed this petition.

Dear Governor Pence and ​​Indiana​ ​State Legislators:

We, the undersigned*, are requesting that the State of I​ndiana​ enact a hearing aid insurance mandate for children.

Although hearing aids are deemed a medically necessary treatment, many insurance companies do NOT cover hearing aids. Hearing loss affects 12,000 children born in the United States each year, making it the most common sensory birth defect. Every thirty-six hours in Indiana, a baby is born unable to hear.

Hearing aids can cost as much as $3,000 per aid and must be replaced every 3-5 years. Similar to eyeglasses for vision impairment, hearing aids will require maintenance and replacement typically every 3 to 5 years. Investing in the early years of a child’s life saves the taxpayers money. Untreated hearing loss will cost Indiana taxpayers over $1 million per child.  We believe hearing aids should not just be for a priviledged few.

We, the undersigned*, urge you to support the creation and passage of such important which has already passed in 20 other states. Your support of children with hearing loss is greatly appreciated. 

The Undersigned*

*The undersigned represent the interests of thousands of ​I​deaf and hard of hearing Hoosier children as well as parents of children with hearing loss.

NOTE TO PETITION SIGNER: From time to time, we may send you email notifications. If you do not wish to receive these emails, you can unsubscribe at any time or your can email us at info@​hearindiana.org​ with the word unsubscribe in the subject line.