October 9, 2018 – Sertoma Club of Greater Sarasota and the Sertoma Speech & Hearing Foundation of Florida, located in New Port Richey, recently held a ribbon-cutting event at Children First to launch a new mobile audiology service for children from low-income families living in the area.
Part of an effort involving Sertoma clubs from throughout the state, the new mobile service will visit sites in Sarasota County and other locations across Florida to provide pediatric hearing screenings and evaluations, along with fitting and dispensing hearing aids for youth suffering from hearing loss and impairment.
Hearing loss is the most common anomaly uncovered in newborn screenings.
Left untreated, it can cause lifelong communication and speech difficulties, but through early detection and intervention, children and their families can gain access to medical treatment for issues that may be causing the hearing loss as well as to therapy services designed to assist with early learning and brain development.
“This mobile audiology van project was made possible through the dedicated efforts of local legislators and Sertoma clubs from throughout Florida,” said Sertoma Speech & Hearing Foundation Executive Director Debra Golinski. “Private matching funds cover one hundred percent of the cost of the van itself, while audiologist and other professional staffing is financially supported by the Florida Department of Health and matching grants from local organizations like Sertoma Club of Greater Sarasota.”
Founded in 1956, Sertoma Club of Greater Sarasota is part of a global network of Sertoma International service organizations that assist children and adults with speech, hearing and communication challenges.
Locally, the club’s Sertoma Kids’ clinic provides professional speech and communication therapy.