About Help Us Hear
The Ear Research Foundation (ERF) is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, dedicated to research, education, and community care for hearing and balance disorders.
In March 2012, the Ear Research Foundation unveiled the new “Help Us Hear” Program with a mission to educate the public on the various treatment options for hearing loss and to provide funds for hearing aids and implants for those who cannot afford them.
According to 2008 Census, there were 60,000 people with hearing loss in Sarasota County, and 50,000 in Manatee County, totaling 110,000 people, or 16.1% of the population in this region. That is the highest percentage in the country.
Although hearing loss increases with age and 31% of Sarasota County residents are considered Senior Citizens - also highest in the country - two recent studies showed that 1 in 5 teens and 1 in 4 college students also show early stages of hearing loss.
Nationally, 4 out of 5 hearing impaired individuals who need treatment and support do not get it. For those who do, it typically has taken an average of 7 years for them to seek help.
The goal of the Help Us Hear Campaign is raising funds to:
- First, educate the public on the incidence and impact of hearing loss on the individual, the family, and society.
- Second, to educate the public on the prevention of and then treatment options for hearing loss. Because with today’s advanced technologies and the numerous options for help, living with deafness is a personal choice and not a must anymore.
- Third, to provide financially eligible candidates with hearing aids, or cochlear implants, because the gift of hearing should be made available to all, not only to those who can afford it.
To date 125 individuals and counting have received a hearing aid through the Help Us Hear Program. We hope that you will help us to continue to provide the gift of hearing. We thank you, and the hearing impaired community thanks you.