Free Resources for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children

Updated on November 4, 2018
leahlefler profile image

Leah Lefler's son was born in 2007 and has a severe-profound hearing loss. He uses a hearing aid and cochlear implant to hear.

Obtaining Educational Resources for Children with Hearing Loss

Our son attended the John Tracy Clinic, which provided us with the resources and tools to allow him to thrive in a mainstream classroom.
Our son attended the John Tracy Clinic, which provided us with the resources and tools to allow him to thrive in a mainstream classroom. | Source

Finding Help and Information

When a child is born deaf or hard-of-hearing, there is an adjustment process for the parents: over 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents. Parents are faced with overwhelming decisions: which way to communicate, where to find the right resources, and how to afford hearing aids, which are often not covered by medical insurance.

There are many free resources and educational items available for parents and children. This article aims to provide a comprehensive list of free educational resources, support, and products for deaf and hard-of-hearing children.

The John Tracy Clinic

Founded in 1943 by Louise Tracy (the wife of actor Spencer Tracy), the John Tracy Clinic has been offering parents quality information on raising deaf and hard-of-hearing children for years. All of the material offered by the clinic is absolutely free, and the website offers an "ask the audiologist" feature for parents confused by testing results.

The John Tracy Clinic also offers a free international correspondence course. Parents are mailed a series of lessons and follow the curriculum at home with their infants and preschoolers. Upon completing a report on the child's response to the lessons, the parent is provided with feedback from the world-class staff at the clinic.

A preschool summer session is also available, at a cost, providing an amazing educational opportunity for parents and children. Parents must pay for lodging and food for the course of the trip, but subsidized housing at the nearby Annenberg Apartments is available (part of the USC campus).

Alexander Graham Bell Organization

For parents considering a spoken communication path, the Alexander Graham Bell organization offers free membership and educational materials. Volta Voices, a free print publication, is provided along with membership to the organization. Educational resources include explanations of technology and early intervention strategies. Advocacy for children in mainstream public schools and biannual conferences for parents of children with hearing loss help parents who have chosen to pursue a listening and spoken language educational approach.

The Alexander Graham Bell foundation also offers scholarships to children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Listening and Spoken Language Advocacy: AG Bell

Hearing Health Magazine

A quarterly publication, Hearing Health Magazine is entirely free. Articles range from exploring new technology to personal stories from people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. This magazine is part of the Deafness Research Foundation, and is also available for electronic download from the website.

Cued Speech

Cued speech uses different hand shapes to represent phonemes.
Cued speech uses different hand shapes to represent phonemes. | Source

Resources for Families Interested in Cued Speech

Cued speech is a visual representation of sound. Unlike ASL, Cued Speech is not a language, but a way to visually express different phonemes of spoken language to increase accessibility to oral communication. Cueing is beneficial to those who have hearing loss or other language disorders.

The National Cued Speech Association offers educational resources, workshops, and scholarships for families who choose this communication modality. Summer camps are also available to children who are deaf and hard of hearing, though the summer camps are not free of charge.

Mini Documentary on Cued Speech

Hands and Voices

Hands and Voices offers support to parents of children who are deaf and hard of hearing using all communication modalities. The primary goal of Hands and Voices is to provide parents with the tools they need to support their children, without bias. Educational resources are available in multiple languages. Advocacy support and training resources are available to parents, in addition to local chapters that meet to provide parents with real-life, in-person guidance and information.

American Society for Deaf Children

Families who choose to pursue a visual language, such as American Sign Language, will find support from the American Society for Deaf Children (ASDC). The ASDC believes all children benefit from early exposure to a visual language and should celebrate a positive identity through family support.

Educational resources for learning ASL and annual conferences help support parents who choose sign language as their child's primary or second language. Members of ASDC receive The Endeavor, a magazine printed three times per year with articles supporting the educational and advocacy aims of the organization.

Hands and Voices Parent Advocacy Organization

Communication Modality Choices for Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

What communication modality did you choose for your child?

See results

Financial Assistance with Hearing Aids

Parents often find it a shock when hearing aids are not covered by medical insurance. With a price tag of approximately $5,000 for quality digital hearing aids, parents often scramble for funding in the attempt to give their baby access to sound as early as possible.

The Hearing Loss Association of America offers a full listing of financial resources to aid families searching for a way to fund a hearing aid purchase.

The Lions Club has initiated the Affordable Hearing Aid Project, and many local Lions Clubs are willing to aid families in acquiring hearing aids.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

  • Can a toddler learn cued speech?

    Toddlers are very adept at learning cued speech (CS). While we did not use CS with our son, we do have a friend who used CS with her daughter and had great success with the method. CS may also help with reading, as breaking down the words into phonetic components is the basis of cued speech.

© 2011 Leah Lefler


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • leahlefler profile imageAUTHOR

      Leah Lefler 

      7 years ago from Western New York

      Say Agaid, there are options for those with conductive hearing loss - a bone anchored hearing system might work well to suit your needs. I would try to get in to see an ear, nose, and throat doctor (ENT) to discuss your options. Air conduction hearing aids might also work if you need them - I would see a licensed audiologist and an ENT at your earliest convenience.

    • profile image

      Say Agaid 

      7 years ago

      hello there! I had a chronic otitis media before. my doctor said that both my eardrums are nearly to totally damaged, and a bone inside my ears got thicker. I can hear except when someone is whispering, I can't clearly understand it. is there any surgical solution for this please? cause i don't want to use hearing kit if possible. please email me Thank you! please!

    • profile image

      Martin Zamora 

      9 years ago

      Well thought out missive. Gradual Hearing Loss is a very lonely experience as a lot of our elders experience hearing loss every year. Thanks for raising awareness.

    • leahlefler profile imageAUTHOR

      Leah Lefler 

      9 years ago from Western New York

      I agree: everything is a help!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 

      9 years ago from Washington

      You can't have too many resources!

    • leahlefler profile imageAUTHOR

      Leah Lefler 

      9 years ago from Western New York

      JTC is the single best resource for parents with deaf and hard of hearing children. We attended this past summer, and it was an incredible experience. Nolan whispered for the first time, and we got some clarity on his hearing loss characteristics. It was a wonderful experience!

    • cottontail profile image


      9 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      My stepmother was a teacher at JTC for 20 years. It's a wonderful place!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)