The ERF provides free hearing screening in cooperation with health fairs, civic and non-profit organizations. Over 35,000 children and adults have been screened for hearing problems since the inception of the program. Senior centers, daycare centers, Boys and Girls clubs, schools and others have worked with the ERF to deliver the screenings. Qualified physicians, medical personnel and audiologists donate their time to help identify any potential problems early. An annual hearing screening is a recommended as a continuing practice to maintain good hearing health.
Flanzer Hearing Outreach Program
The Flanzer Hearing Outreach Program began in December 2004 with a generous donation to the Ear Research Foundation from Gloria and Louis Flanzer. The Flanzers donated a $50,000 for the purpose of providing free hearing tests for children in Sarasota County. The Ear Research Foundation recognizes that hearing issues present challenges during a child’s development. Vital years of learning are jeopardized if a child’s hearing loss goes undetected. We are firm believers in early intervention. The ultimate goal is to identify the hearing loss early, so that the child’s development is not interrupted or delayed. We now partner with the Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County to ensure that all Pre-K children are screened prior to entering Kindergarten. The hearing tests are provided on-site at day-care facilities, preschools, and charter schools. The test itself consists of an oto-acoustic emissions test where the audiologist holds a hand-held piece of equipment (similar to an ear thermometer) to the child’s ear. Thirty seconds later, the machine provides a print-out of the function of the cochlea. The audiologist will also perform a tympanometry test to measure middle ear pressure and detect if fluid is present. A standard audiogram is performed on older children. The Ear Research Foundation brings state of the art equipment to the facility. If a child fails a hearing test, that child is referred to their Pediatrician, ENT or the Ear Research Foundation clinic for further testing and treatment. The Ear Research Foundation is also available to nonprofit organizations for free hearing tests. The Ear Research Foundation is the non-profit division of the Silverstein Institute whose mission is to perform research, and to provide education and community service. For more information or to schedule a group hearing test for your center, please contact Jennifer Moss at (941) 365-0367.