Dr. Wilkins and StudentsForemost, I would like to start by first extending our hopes that you and your family, our community partners, and friends have remained healthy, safe, and secure during this most unprecedented time.

Child’s Voice has dedicated this year to reviewing our program’s Culture. The staff has been working on revamping and examining what we do and why we do it. It has been a fun time. Yes, a bit stressful at times, but well worth the work.

We moved the Culture question to the board of directors. From their discussion we gathered input from all staff and directors to narrow down what we do and why. The why were identified as Child’s Voice VALUES.

Our norms are what the values are supporting — how we do things and, most importantly, why. Values are at the core of our programs, the Epicenter. Our values guide our staff, our behaviors, and our mission and vision. Moreover, in this time of chaos, our values help us to maintain program health.

We have identified six core values:

  • Advocacy: To support and teach our students and parents self-advocacy
  • Collaboration: Across disciplines and across the globe
  • Expertise: Deaf educators, speech-language pathologists, and audiologists, committed to be the best in their fields
  • Community: An environment of empathy, care, love,  and shared goals
  • Commitment: To children with hearing loss and their success
  • Passion: Started by families for families, impassioned teachers, therapists and staff.

I would like to take look at one of these values and point out how much our staff and families are in harmony. Let us look at Passion. There is no clearer picture of the heartfelt care our therapists and teachers demonstrate. Their passion shines through the remote-learning activities and outreach to our families and for our students.

The students are participating in remote learning in a variety of ways. EI has teletherapy lessons that are one-on-one sessions with the parent and the child. Fun games are shared for our toddlers via Zoom. It is so delightful to see the children trying their best to sing, talk, or listen. It’s even better to see mom and dad doing the same. Yes, we always knew parents are their child’s first and best teacher. Some parents are excited, but we also know exhausted, doing all this work.

In the school program, the teachers and teaching assistants’ passion is demonstrated through the creative lessons that are designed. From prerecorded video activities to the reading of bedtime stories, all bring smiles and warm feelings.

Passion is also demonstrated by all the families. Life is hard. Work/life are not in balance. To try to keep your children engaged while doing your own work—unbelievable. YET all parents know the importance of this time. We cannot let the gap created by hearing loss grow larger.

Yes, PASSION is a value at Child’s Voice. From everyone — our audiologists to our school counselor, our Advancement team to Business office — PASSION is clearly seen and felt.  It is only one of our values. Let’s explore another next month.

What is your passion?

Stay healthy and well.

Warmest Regards,

Dr. Michele