Connections. We celebrate connections each day at CEID. The connection of a word, signed or spoken, to a concept. Connections to make sense of a new sound discovered through a hearing aid or cochlear implant. Connections to information, to support, to skills. And the connections we make with each other to our students, to families, to patients, to donors. Each individual connection grows and shifts…expanding out to make new connections, each building on the last to form the next. The ripple effects continue far beyond the initial connection. It is this inter-relatedness and capacity to grow that we depend on at the core of our work and daily lives at CEID.
In this newsletter we highlight a “CEID Connector”— what began as a sharing of ideas then sparked an interest leading to curiosity to find out more and with an already existing commitment to be engaged in his community, led to years of support for CEID. Then eventually, another connection was made back to CEID to connect him with access to lost sounds via hearing aids and audiological care.
We recognize daily how fortunate we are to foster connections and grab the thread and follow it--being intentional about the possibilities any one connection might make. Our Walk-A-Thon in the Spring is dependent upon connections. It is our grassroots, peer-to-peer fundraiser that asks our community to reach out to their communities to seek support for our services. For 18 years it has connected us the day of the event and, in advance, to gather supporters. It importantly raises much needed funds for our programs and increases awareness about who we are, and why it matters.
A person’s intention to care and to make a connection releases a world of possibility. The multiplier effect is limitless and the positive impact profound. What is the ripple effect you will make today? Send your ideas my way. firstname.lastname@example.org
CEID relies on a broad community of supporters who believe in the impact of our services and who take action to make sure that CEID thrives.
Over the years, CEID has seen many families, friends, and patients become CEID advocates and champions. Sometimes, as in the case of Bruce Willock, the CEID supporter becomes a CEID service recipient. Bruce Willock, has been a CEID donor since 2012 both personally and as a member of the Berkeley Rotary Club.
“Bruce is a wonderful example of an actively engaged supporter of CEID—from the moment he first found out about CEID he wanted to learn more and through the years has created many opportunities to expand his involvement and deepen his impact on our agency,” said CEID Executive Director, Cindy Dickeson.
Initially, Bruce was interested in learning about deaf education because both his father and brother navigated hearing loss. His father was nearly deaf when Bruce was a child so he saw firsthand the detrimental effects of untreated hearing loss.
Bruce first learned of CEID about ten years ago, when he watched a TED-x talk, by CEID co-founder Jill Ellis, describing the critical importance of early identification of babies who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. He was instantly enthralled! He asked Jill to introduce CEID to the Berkeley Rotary Club and followed up with a visit to CEID’s Berkeley Center. “I watched the incredible skill and enthusiasm one teacher brought to working with preschool age children with sign language; observed the integrated hearing and D/HH preschool kids interacting with each other and said to myself ‘this is a top notch’ organization,” shared Bruce.
Bringing his community connections to benefit CEID, this remarkable champion has also become a CEID Audiology patient. About six years ago, Bruce’s hearing started to degrade. “My late older brother had very impaired hearing most of his adult life. Now, for the past (several) years, it’s been my turn,” said Bruce.
Already aware of CEID’s Audiology services, Bruce inquired if the Center would take private patients and was glad to learn that CEID accepted commercial insurance as well as Medicare and MediCal insurance. He was quickly set up with high quality hearing aids and has been a CEID patient ever since. Bruce receives ongoing care from the Audiology Team, sometimes visiting the Berkeley Clinic and other times at the Oakland clinic.
Bruce says he’s always made to feel special and notes that the audiologists connect by sharing stories and learning more about his needs. He also shared positive reviews of the support staff, who he described as “delightful” even when just coming by to pick up hearing aid batteries.
CEID’s team is just as fond of Bruce. “He has a generosity of spirit that is infectious—you need only spend a few minutes talking with him to genuinely feel how deeply he cares about others,” said Cindy.
Commercial Insurance and private pay patients, like Bruce, make it possible for CEID to provide high quality hearing health care to a range of patients who are underinsured or uninsured and wouldn’t otherwise be able to access specialized, individualized care.
Community is paramount to CEID’s work. And the more mutually beneficial relationships a community has, the stronger that community will be. Bruce Willock’s connection to CEID is a perfect example of that concept in action. “Bruce Willock is a great CEID Champion-- as a connector and life-long learner—a perfect fit with our agency values and an incredible member of our CEID Community,” said Cindy.