Nearly 40 children came together on the Arizona campus to celebrate Hearing, Education And Recreation (H.E.A.R.) Day hosted by the Student Academy of Audiology at A.T. Still University on Jan. 30. The annual event, which unites children who are deaf and hard of hearing, featured a variety of fun activities including face painting, a bounce house, games, exercise and health education, and a chance to interact with students from different programs.
Children also had the opportunity to interact with a young adult panel, who answered questions from their young audience about shared life experiences and who also offered prospective advice like how to have the best classroom experience.
In addition, H.E.A.R. Day gave parents a chance to attend an informational panel discussion hosted by Phoenix Day School for the Deaf. “There were smiles, tears, laughter, and a great deal of information being shared,” said event co-chair Farris Chappell, AuD, ’17. “But ultimately, parents left the session feeling empowered and having formed bonds with other parents.” Students from other ATSU programs including athletic training, physician assistant studies, physical therapy, occupational therapy and osteopathic medicine also participated to offer a variety of resources and support to children.
“Bringing these children together from around the Valley shows them that they are not the only ones who wear a hearing device or use their hands to communicate,” said Chappel. “But that they are a part of greater community.”