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November 23, 2010

Verizon Invests in Clarke Cochlear Implant Habilitation Program


November 23, 2010—Verizon Foundation, which has a long history of supporting quality educational programs serving individuals with disabilities, has awarded Clarke School for Hearing and Speech/Boston a $10,000 grant to support Clarke’s Cochlear Implant Habilitation Program. Richard B. Colon, Regional Director of Verizon External Affairs, visited the school recently to present the grant award.

“From our industry leading wireless and FiOS technologies, to the incorporation of technology in meeting social service needs, Verizon places the utmost importance on the use of technology,” said Colon. “It’s a perfect fit for the Verizon Foundation to provide resources for training in the use of cochlear implant technology.  We are pleased to help support Clarke and wish them success in the future.”

Mandatory Newborn Hearing Screening, combined with technology such as cochlear implants and programs like Clarke, help young children with hearing loss gain the listening, learning and spoken language skills they need to succeed. Many of the children Clarke serves are prepared to enter their neighborhood schools by the time they reach kindergarten.

Through Clarke Boston’s innovative Cochlear Implant Program, staff collaborate with implant centers, medical facilities and families of children with hearing loss to develop appropriate expectations, goals, and strategies to help children use the technology to listen and speak. Prior to a child receiving a cochlear implant, Clarke’s skilled professionals use a specially designed doll that is fitted with a model of a cochlear implant. The doll helps the child prepare for and role-play the surgery, hearing exercises and activities they will soon be participating in. After receiving the implant, professionals work with the child to develop speech and language skills and prepare them for the lifelong task of maintaining the implant.

Clarke President Bill Corwin praised Verizon for their support, saying the grant will be used to make an immediate, transformative impact in the lives of children at Clarke.

“We are grateful to have Verizon partner with us in support of this important program.  With Verizon’s help we can provide vital support to more families and help children who receive cochlear implants maximize the benefits of this life-changing technology.”