With today's technology, 80-90% percent of families are choosing amplification and a listening and spoken language approach. So rather than learning sign language and attending special schools, these children are integrated in the hearing world. There is only one problem... These children may feel alone in a world where they are neither hearing nor deaf. Hear Indiana is proud to offer the only camp in Indiana designed specifically for these special children. 'First and foremost, we run a typical camp. Our camp was created so that these children with hearing loss -- like myself -- don't have to feel alone with this impediment,' says camp director, Tony Gigli. Camper Emily Massengale, expressed, 'I've waited eleven years to find a friend with a cochlear implant.' More than 90% of campers' parents reported it is 'very important' for their child to meet others like themselves.
Anecdotally, we knew we were making an impact, but a recent study conducted by Indiana University validates what we have seen for years: our program significantly improves campers' feelings of social acceptance and quality of life. Data show that six months after camp, our campers still feel more socially accepted than before the start of camp. (These results will be published in a journal article later this year.) Thanks to modern technologies, our campers are singing camp 'ditties' and telling ghost stories around the campfire. Tomorrow, these campers will become customer service agents, teachers, and even TV news anchors. With the ability to listen and speak, their options are endless.