Kids Seek Hearing
It's something most of us take for granted, talking and hearing. But it's a luxury for some.
A group of kids at Lake Forest Elementary School know all about it. Their hearing aids often come with large and embarrassing wires. There is smaller sleeker equipment out there, but the kids may have a hard time getting their hands, and ears, on it.
Many are heading to middle school next year and are self-conscious. Some have implants, others have hearing aids, but almost everyone still wears a wire.
The Alachua County School Board is trying to help subsidize the cost of the hearing aids to make those wireless. But the implants are trickier.
"The funding is through medicaid," says Lake Forest Teacher Tina Kercheval. "Medicaid will not upgrade to the new wireless equipment because it's not 'medically' necessary, even though the quality of sound is so much better with the wireless equipment."
The kids are hoping to get help from the state. It'll cost thousands of dollars for each student. But at least one lawmaker thinks it's worth it.
"They won't have to have interpreters that the state pays for currently and the school board pays for," says Senator Steve Oelrich, (R) Cross Creek.
It's too late for this budget year, but for these kids help can't come soon enough.
Just ask hearing impaired fifth grader Katie Wade. "Next year I'm going to Kanapaha Middle School, and I want no wires because kids will make fun of me."
By Anne Imanuel, WCJB TV20 News
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