Hearing Loss Association West Valley Chapter donates to local Hearing Center

American Girl Doll helps young people with hearing loss


Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) West Valley Chapter president Melanie O’Rourke presented Dr. Shanna Mortensen-Dewsnup, Au.D., CCC-A of Happy Ears Hearing Center with the 2020 American Girl Doll of the Year, Joss Kendrick.

“Members of the West Valley Chapter of the HLAA understand the challenges of the hearing loss,” Ms. O’Rourke stated. “The donation of this doll is one way we can help a young person with hearing loss.”

This year HLAA and American Girl Doll partnered to increase education and awareness of hearing loss. The 2020 American Girl Doll of the Year, Joss Kendrick, was born with hearing loss and wears a hearing aid in her right ear.

Happy Ears Hearing Center has locations in Peoria (8877 W. Union Hills Drive, Suite 350) and Surprise (15015 W. Bell Road, Suite 101).

According to the HLAA, three out of every 1,000 children are born with a detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears, and 12.5 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 19 have hearing loss from listening to loud music. Even a mild loss can cause a child to miss as much as 50 percent of classroom discussions.

“Our membership wanted to support the national campaign with American Girl Dolls and serve the West Valley,“ Ms. O’Rourke stated. “A doll like Joss can help a young person with their hearing loss journey.”

The West Valley Chapter of the HLAA is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the hearing loss community by offering education and support. Monthly meetings (October-May) are accessible to individuals with hearing loss through the use of an induction loop system that works with an individual’s telecoil in either their hearing aid or cochlear implant. CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) is also provided so the speaker’s presentations can be read.

Visit hearingloss.org.