Deaf Learn to Communicate
October 20, 2016
Imagine being born with a hearing loss, but not having it diagnosed for eight years. Comedian Kathy Buckley knows that all too well when she was put in school for retardation for two years, before her parents realized she simply could not hear. As she states “there is nothing wrong with being deaf but there is everything wrong with not being able to communicate.”
Now those suffering from hearing loss have a voice, it’s their own. Thanks to Dr. Michelle Christie who as a speech-therapist, recognized that the needs of children with hearing loss were not being met in the public school system. So in 1996 she started No Limits, an after-school theatre program aimed to help develop communication skills, expand vocabulary & grammar and understand character development. Through role playing, cultivating creativity and developing public speaking skills, the children began to confidently move into the hearing world and eventually No Limits became a national program.
Today, celebrating their 20th Anniversary, No Limits has an educational center in Culver City and has expanded beyond the theatrical arts to provide auditory, speech and language training year-round and services for low-income school-age deaf children and their families. Programs include academic tutoring, STEM, parent education, literacy, audiological service, sibling support and a Leadership Mentoring Academy for teens. Two additional locations serve as after-school programs in Las Vegas Nevada and Oxnard, California.
While statistics say 74% of deaf and hard-of-hearing adults in California are unemployed, No Limits is successfully preparing their kids for the future with a 100% graduation rate. Alumni like David Hawkins, who always dreamed of being a pilot but was told because he was deaf, he could not be….is now a pilot.
With the help of today’s technology such as cochlear implants and hearing aids, No Limits is helping hard-of-hearing and deaf kids connect to the world around them by COMMUNICATION. There’s no better reward than watching a children’s eyes light up when they are able to communicate.
On Saturday, October 23, No Limits will host AN EVENING WITH NO LIMITS fundraiser at a private estate overlooking in Santa Monica. The evening will include dinner, musical entertainment, live auction and special performance from the children and alumni of No Limits. Five community leaders will be honored for their support and significant contribution to the No Limits programs.
The goal is to raise $500,000 to expand the outreach for No Limits and provide more low-income children with services at no cost (normally $6000 per child).