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History (2005 Summary)

Staff and Board Members

Children's Hearing Aid Texas (CHAT) is a special project fund of the Austin Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization. Our mission is to provide auditory services and hearing aids for infants and children in Central Texas, with permanent hearing loss, who have no financial alternatives to receive assistance. Since our founding in November 2003, our staff of 2 and advisory board of 11 individuals has qualified and assisted over 40 children with audiological services and hearing aids in Central Texas. Children served through our program receive tools necessary to successfully develop the critical life skills of speech, language, reading, communication and learning. The economic and social benefits of our program are recognized through our collaboration with the Texas Department of Health’s Program for the Amplification for Children of Texas (PACT). Together, with your support, we will continue to intervene and diminish the effect of hearing loss in the lives of children to increase their chance for a productive life.

Risk to children with hearing loss:

  • The earlier and more profound the hearing loss, the greater the impact on the child’s development.

  • Missing 25-50% of classroom speech can cause behavior that is incorrectly labeled as a discipline or learning problem.

  • Special education for a child with hearing loss costs schools an additional $420,000 per child (

  • Northern and Downs (1991) estimates that the economic burden of deafness can exceed $1 million for a child’s lifetime.

  • Greater psychosocial strain within the family and with peers (Altman, 1996).

Benefit to children with early detection and intervention:

  • The optimal period for the acquisition of speech and language is from birth to five years of age.

  • The Texas Department of Health (1998) estimates that every $1.20 spent on screening/intervention, the state will save approximately $17.00 on special education for children with hearing loss (not deafness).

We need your support to continue expanding our worthy program to serve these at-risk children. More information is available on this site or by contacting us at 512-330-0510.

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