Advocacy group to receive AG Bell’s Volta Award

CARY, NC—An organization that has been providing emotional support and information to families with deaf or hard-of-hearing children will receive this year’s Volta Award from the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell). BEGINNINGS for Parents of Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in North Carolina will receive the prestigious honor on Thursday, April 26, at its 25th anniversary gala at the Umstead Hotel in Cary.

The Volta Award recognizes individual and organizations that have made a significant contribution to increasing public awareness of the challenges and potential of people with hearing loss. Previous recipients have included the trailblazing pediatric audiologist Marion Downs and the late Rocky Stone, the founder and long-time executive director of the Hearing Loss Association of America.

BEGINNINGS was founded in 1987 on the premise that parents, given accurate, objective information about hearing loss, could make sound decisions for their child. For the past 25 years, the organization has been informing and empowering parents as they make decisions about their children with hearing loss regarding such issues as educational placement, communication methodology, and service needs. Staff members are committed to providing services in a family-centered atmosphere that facilitates active involvement of parents in their children’s social, emotional, and educational growth.

BEGINNINGS is also committed to providing technical assistance to professionals who work with these families to help the children achieve full participation in society.

Recently, the organization worked successfully for passage of a statewide hearing aid insurance mandate in North Carolina, which took effect in 2011.

In announcing the award, Kathleen Treni, president of AG Bell, said that through its work, “BEGINNINGS has ensured that each child with hearing loss born in North Carolina has the opportunity to receive appropriate intervention services immediately, [and] that both the child and his/her family receive support throughout the child’s educational journey.”