Tony Hawk and Starkey Hearing Foundation: Hearing Aid Fitting at Skateistan
On 12 August 2016 I joined the Starkey Hearing Foundation in partnership with the Tony Hawk Foundation on a hearing aid fitting mission.
The Tony Hawk Foundation together with their partners opened up a Skateistan park in Maboneng, in Johannesburg’s CBD. Skateistan is a non-profit organization that uses skateboarding and education for youth empowerment. The Skate School will be a safe space for local youth, with a particular focus on girls and low-income youth. Students will have the opportunity to play and learn as part of the Skate and Create programme, or access homework help and career advice as part of the Back-to-School programme.
Read more about Skateistan here: https://www.skateistan.org
To celebrate the opening of the school in Johannesburg, these two amazing organizations teamed up to have a hearing aid mission at the Skateistan school. Children from the Ekurhuleni School for the Deaf were invited to take part in the mission.
These hearing impaired children do not have the funds to purchase or get access to hearing aids and amplification devices, and so the Starkey Hearing Foundation donated over 200 hearing aids to these children providing them with access to sound, some for the first time in their lives!
I was invited to join the Starkey team as an audiologist assisting in fitting the children with hearing aids. Fitting deaf children for the first time is a mammoth task as well as a rewarding experience. One cannot put into words the feeling one feels when a child’s eyes light up after hearing sound for the first time! It’s truly remarkable.
One of the biggest highlights of the day was watching Tony Hawk skating with some of the children. He continued these rides tirelessly through the day to make sure that each child had a turn to skate with him.