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Charlotte agency offers low-cost hearing aids for low-income clients

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  • National Hearing Test

    The National Hearing Test is a not-for-profit project available to anyone by phone. The test is free during Better Speech and Hearing Month in May. To take the test, call toll-free 866-223-7575 and follow the directions. It takes about 10 minutes.

    Callers are asked to listen to a series of numbers presented with a noise background. When the caller enters the numbers correctly, the next numbers are presented at a lower, more difficult level. The user will receive an immediate report.

    The test was developed by Indiana-based Communication Disorders Technology, in partnership with Indiana University and the VU Medical Center of Amsterdam, with grant funding from the National Institutes of Health. For more information: www.nationalhearingtest.org.



Charlotte-area consumers who need hearing aids can find low-cost options through the Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center, a United Way agency that offers a sliding-fee scale depending on a family’s income, size and medical expenses.

Executive Director Shannon Tucker said the agency, which has operated since 1967, provided hearing services to 600 people last year and speech services to more than 3,000 last year.

Depending on a consumer’s income, the agency can provide a new digital hearing aid for as low as $70, Tucker said. The agency also provides a warranty and follow-up services, “everything that we would give to someone who walked in and spent $5,000,” Tucker said.

The agency’s profits from clients who pay full price are used to fund community programs to buy hearing aids for low-income consumers and to pay for screening programs for low-income children to identify and prevent hearing problems. If families don’t qualify for the sliding scale, Tucker said the agency will “work with everybody to find an affordable solution.”

During May, which is Better Speech and Hearing Month, the agency is offering a “buy one, get one free” promotion for hearing aids to those who don’t have insurance coverage.

For information, contact Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center, 741 Kenilworth Ave, Suite 100, Charlotte, NC 28204; 704 523-8027; www.charlottespeechhearing.com .

Garloch: 704-358-5078
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