Kelly Duncan, born profoundly deaf, was the first hearing impaired firefighter ever hired at Station 4, the busiest station in Clayton County. Because of cochlear implants and the therapy she received at the Auditory-Verbal Center, she is able to do the job she loves. Jonathan Brilling was also born profoundly deaf and started therapy at the Center when he was only six weeks old.
He just graduated as a Lieutenant and member of the Armed Exhibition Drill Team from Riverside Military Academy. Auditory-Verbal Center has many more success stories like these with 100% of its graduates age three or older attending regular schools.
The Auditory-Verbal Center has two locations, Atlanta and Macon, but serves people all over the state of Georgia. The audiology department provides total hearing healthcare through diagnostic testing, hearing aids, and even newborn screening. The Auditory-Verbal Center is one of only a few organizations to provide newborn hearing screening or ABR without sedation. The Audiology department serves anyone from birth to senior.
The Auditory-Verbal Center provides auditory-verbal therapy for very young children who are deaf or hard of hearing. There is an optimal period of time for therapy because a child’s greatest capacity for learning language occurs within the first few years of life. The goal of the therapy is to enable mild to profoundly deaf children to have independent hearing and communication, without the use of sign language or lip reading. Both the child and the family attend therapy sessions at the Center once a week and then implement the techniques at home. When a child graduates from the program they are age appropriate expressively and receptively to their hearing peers by the time they enter kindergarten.
The Auditory-Verbal Center provides this hearing therapy for a fraction of the cost of conventional methods. The Center does not turn families away because of lack of funds and often provides families with discounts and scholarships. According to Debbie Brilling, the CEO of the Auditory-Verbal Center, “Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta is an amazing resource that helps to ensure more money goes toward helping children. The pro bono attorneys we have worked with have been top-notch.” Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta has matched the Center with the following volunteer attorneys to help with various contracts and employment matters: Todd Grice of The Coca-Cola Company, Bryony Bowers of AGL Resources, and Kelly Giustina of Delta Airlines.