It’s no secret that hearing aids are costly and that many of the patients who visit the Charles Van Riper Hearing Clinic at WMU find them difficult to afford. In collaboration with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services and the Starkey Hearing Foundation, WMU audiology students and faculty are working to help those in need.
Starkey Hear Now is an application-based program that provides free hearing aids to low-income Americans.
If it is determined that a patient in the Charles Van Riper Hearing Clinic at WMU will need hearing aids and they are unable to pay, that patient will not be turned away. Audiology staff will connect connect the patient with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services of Grand Rapids to start the application process to receive hearing aids at no cost from the Starkey Hearing Foundation. Application fees are typically paid with grants and funds that audiology students have raised.
In August 2017, the Student Academy of Audiology at WMU hosted a golf scramble and raised nearly $2000. $600 of the proceeds will be used for the pediatric population while the remainder will be used to cover application fees for free hearing aids through the Starkey Hear Now program.