The Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma awarded a generous grant to the Oklahoma School for the Deaf Senior Citizens Hearing Aid Program. This grant allowed the program to purchase 776 hearing aids and supply everyone on their three year waiting list! In addition to this, the grant will fund hearing aids for the next 204 applicants! Because of the impact of this grant, MCFOK was recognized as the 2018 Community Leader of the Year by the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.
Since receiving the donation from the MCFOK and after the donation made it in newspapers, magazines, and spread by word of mouth, Oklahoma School for the Deaf Senior Citizens Hearing Aid Program has received an influx of phone calls and applications. Seniors once called to find out if there was a waiting list and would many times decline the program, stating that they would not be able to wait the predicted 2-3 years on the waiting list. Now that funding for the program has been provided, these Seniors no longer have to wait for assistance.
The program began utilizing the grant by making calls to clients who had been on the waiting list since 2016. They call each client individually based on the order in which they received their applications. If clients answer, the program has to receive verification that they still want a hearing aid, as well as their mailing address and choice of audiologist. Some clients had purchased their own hearing aids or received them through other programs during their time on the waitlist.
An additional benefit of the grant supports DeafBlind clients served by the Oklahoma School for the Deaf. In the past, the program was able to provide two hearing aids for those who have a hearing loss as well as a documented vision loss. In October 2018, the program decided to reduce assistance to only one hearing aid in order to serve more clients in need. However, after the donation, the program was able to start providing two hearing aids for DeafBlind clients again.
Since April, the program has contacted approximately 250 individuals who were on the waiting list and have served 74 clients so far. They expect to have alleviated the waiting list by the end of August 2019. All clients served have been informed that their hearing aid was made possible in part by the generous donation from the Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma.