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Our Mission

CHEAR’s mission is to foster and provide support for the necessary resources to the Hampton Roads community, its region, our nation and beyond, so that all citizens can obtain the highest quality and comprehensive services for disorders of the ear, hearing and balance.  This goal is achieved through programs for identification, clinical care, research, rehabilitation, education, public awareness and advocacy and by cooperation with the medical, educational, and social institutions of the communities in which we serve. 

Our Vision

  • A world where hearing loss is identified early and treated immediately
  • A world where the highest quality medical, habilitative and educational services are available to all persons with hearing loss, without regard to socioeconomic status or location of residence
  • A world where persons with hearing loss and balance disorders can lead lives with little detriment to quality of life
  • A world where families of children born with hearing loss are able to make informed choices regarding communication options and effortlessly receive the services needed to assist their child in achieving their greatest potential
  • A world where people without hearing or balance problems are better able to understand those who do have these challenges
  • A world where teachers, physicians, audiologists, speech pathologists and other professionals have the training and resources with which they can provide for the needs of persons with hearing loss, balance problems and other disorders of the ear
  • A world where hearing loss can be prevented and reversed
  • A world where people can grow older with more grace, able to maintain better quality of life with higher levels of activity and socialization without interference or embarrassment due to hearing or balance problems

Our Objectives

  • To support early identification, medical treatment and rehabilitation for children and adults with hearing loss
  • To support medical and surgical treatment for individuals affected with other ear-related disorders including benign and malignant tumors, neurological disorders, infectious diseases, tinnitus, hypersensitivity to noise, dizziness and imbalance
  • To support clinical, basic and translational research programs dealing with ear, hearing and balance disorders
  • To endorse all communication choices, but to specifically support comprehensive services for auditory/oral communication
  • To educate the general public about hearing loss, dizziness and tinnitus; including the importance of prevention and early detection
  • To provide educational opportunities for professionals who treat persons with hearing loss or other disorders of the ear; including physicians, medical students, residents, audiologists, speech therapists, social workers and educators

Our Three Priority Projects

A PRESCHOOL FOR HEARING IMPAIRED CHILDREN.  Resources for oral education are limited in Hampton Roads.  When a child is hearing impaired and wears either hearing aids or a cochlear implant for amplification and when the family chooses the pursuit of oral speech and language, the child must be provided with the specialized education and therapy in order to learn spoken language.  This training includes auditory-verbal therapy and an oral education approach.  In February 2009, with the support of CHEAR, the Department of Otolaryngology of EVMS, the Virginia Department of Education, Old Dominion University, and local school systems, the opportunity for oral education became a reality with the opening of the Oral Preschool located within ODU’s Child Study Center. Our goals at this time include financial support for the program, increased capacity, and development of programs to train teachers, speech pathologists and early intervention workers on techniques to support children with hearing impairment.

A MOBILE HEARING VAN AND HEARING AID BANK.   Current statistics point out that only 10% of the adult population is screened for hearing loss, despite the fact that at least 10% of the population and 75% of adults older than 75 years old is expected to have hearing loss.  Only 10% of children and adults who could benefit from a hearing aid, actually wear a hearing aid.  Only 1% of adults or children who would potentially benefit from a cochlear implant have one.  Access to hearing amplification is limited to a select few due to the extraordinary expense of hearing technology, most often not covered by insurance.  This project would provide the van, equipment and the audiologist, so that hearing exams and hearing aid care could be taken to those who would not otherwise have access.  The hearing aid assistance program would collect donated aids, purchase new aids and provide hearing aids at low or no cost to children and adults with low incomes.  DOWNLOAD an application for the Hearing Aid Program here.

SUPPORT THE HEARING AND BALANCE CENTER OF EVMS.  The Department of Otolaryngology and its Hearing and Balance Center provide testing and management for hearing and balance problems in adults and children.  The clinicians of the Department also run the EVMS/CHKD Cochlear Implant Program, which provides 40-50 adults and children with cochlear implants each year and is the largest program in the region.  Current needs for these programs include new technology, funding for research initiatives, and clinicians to support the growing needs of our community.

Download our Brochure here

Last modified: 05/18/2010