During this Thanksgiving, it seems fitting to mention an organization formed to honor the life and memory of a fellow colleague. Alison’s Hope for Hearing is a national, non-profit 501c(3) organization formed by the family and friends of Alison Berry, an audiologist and representative for Unitron. On October 1, 2009 she was killed in a car accident while en route to a morning meeting with a customer. The goal of Alison’s Hope for Hearing is to provide accessible hearing care to underserved populations by partnering with audiologists nationwide interested in supporting the organization’s mission with screenings, testing, and hearing aid fittings for qualified patients.
As an audiologist, Alison was passionate about amplification and loved helping her customers with hearing aid fittings. Prior to joining Unitron, Alison was employed by Sonus Hearing in San Diego, as well as a pediatric audiologist for The Sunshine Cottage School for the Deaf in Texas, where she gained a reputation as the “child-whisperer”. Those who knew Alison describe her as a super-positive person who loved to laugh, have fun, and instantly made friends wherever she went. She had a personality that would instantly brighten a room. She also was an expert gift-giver so what better way for her friends to honor her by giving back to a profession she loved so much.
Alison’s Hope for Hearing provides hearing instruments, follow-up care, and services to those individuals with hearing loss that do not qualify for other financial resources such as insurance, state Medicaid, military health, vocational rehab or county services. Patients in need of assistance submit an Application for Assistance along with an application fee of $100 (check or money order). It is important to note that checks are not cashed by the organization unless the applicant has been identified as meeting financial criteria. Once an individual is eligible for assistance, arrangements are made to coordinate hearing care with a participating provider.
As with any non-profit organization, Alison’s Hope for Hearing relies on donations of time and/or money from a variety of sources. Several different hearing instrument manufacturers have committed to providing new hearing instruments. Audiologists interested in becoming providers can access the Provider Application on-line and submit it to Alison’s Hope for Hearing. Participating audiologists would receive a nominal fee for their expertise and time while gaining the immeasurable satisfaction of providing qualifying individuals with the gift of improved communication. The organization also has a cookbook and t-shirts available for purchase to raise funds or you can simply make a donation on-line to support this cause. For more information, go to www.alisonshopeforhearing.org or contact the organization via e-mail at email@example.com.