Hearing Aid Project

Help Them Hear What They’ve Been Missing

Hearing is the last sensory function to leave us when we fall asleep and the first to “come on line” when we awaken.  Normal hearing provides vital information about our environment and warnings of danger, affords the opportunity for communication with other people, and opens a channel for the pleasures of listening to music, laughter, and sounds in nature.

An estimated 26 million Americans are afflicted with hearing loss and cannot fully appreciate this unique sensory experience.

For some, hearing loss is present from time of birth (congenital). For others, hearing loss occurs later in life and may be due to one or a combination of causes: infection, injury, excessive noise exposure, heredity or aging, to name a few.

Since 1981, The Wisconsin Lions Foundation Inc. has realized the adverse effect hearing loss can have on the individual, the family, and society as a whole.

Hearing impairment is the most common and widespread form of physical disability in the United States today.  It is a “silent” disability, evoking little public recognition and sympathy.  The hard of hearing individual usually does not look any different or bear any outward sign of his/her affliction.

The human and economic costs of failing to prevent these hearing losses are too high to ignore.  Providing assistance to the hard of hearing at the earliest possible time is extremely important.  The Wisconsin Lions Foundation Hearing Project was conceived from this need and continues evolve, expanding its role in hearing preservation and rehabilitation.

The Objectives of the Wisconsin Lions Foundation Hearing Project:

  • To promote public awareness of the scope of hearing loss and its effect on the individual and society.
  • To increase public knowledge about prevention, recognition, and treatment for the hard of hearing.
  • To collect and recycle both functioning and non-functioning used hearing aids for salvage credit, allowing the purchase of new hearing aids for recipients of the Lions Hearing Project.

What is the WLF Hearing Project all about?

The WLF Hearing Project is dedicated to the needs of the hard of hearing.  It is run through a combined effort of Wisconsin, Lioness, and Leo Clubs.  Hearing healthcare professionals throughout the State generously assist by providing services to beneficiaries of the Hearing Project throughout Wisconsin.

Who is the Project designed to serve?

The WLF Hearing Project helps Wisconsin’s needy individuals who are hard of hearing, cannot afford to purchase a hearing instrument, and do not qualify for any existing state-funded financial assistance programs.

How does the Project work?

The success of the Hearing Project relies on the collaborative efforts and generosity of Wisconsin Lions, Lioness, and Leo Clubs, hearing healthcare professionals, and hearing aid manufacturers.  Lions, Lioness and Leo Clubs throughout the State collect used hearing aids and provide funding for recipients; hearing professionals agree to accept reduced fees for their services; and hearing aid manufacturers provide large discounts on hearing devices dispensed to recipients.

How does an individual apply for assistance?

Any individual interested in receiving assistance from the Project is required to fill out an application for financial assistance.  Applications can be obtained by contacting a local Lions, Lioness, or Leo Club or by calling the Foundation Office, toll-free at 1-877-463-6953.

Click here for the Hearing Aid Application Cover Letter
Click Here for the Hearing Aid Application
Click here for the 2014-2015 Financial Guidelines

How is an applicant’s financial eligibility determined?

Applications are carefully reviewed by the District Hearing Chairperson of the district where the applicant resides.  District Hearing Chairpersons refer to the WLF Hearing Aid Project Protocol which provides suggested guidelines to use when making financial eligibility decisions.

Is the information provided on the application kept confidential?

Yes.  The only people who see the information provided on the application are the District Hearing Chairperson and the Hearing Project Coordinator.

Can an applicant apply for financial assistance after they have purchased a hearing device(s)?

No.  Applications for payment of hearing aids that were fitted without prior authorization will not be considered.

Does the Project pay for hearing evaluations, hearing aid evaluations, and/or medical evaluations performed for the purpose of obtaining a hearing aid(s)?

No, simply because the costs of providing these services would be prohibitive.  These costs may or may not be the recipient’s responsibility, depending upon their insurance coverage.  It is the recipient’s responsibility to check with their insurance carrier regarding these costs.

What types of hearing aids are dispensed to recipients?

The style, brand, and model which is most appropriate for the recipient’s hearing needs is determined by a hearing professional.  All attempts are made to supply the hearing aid of choice; however, if cost is prohibitive, the hearing professional and WLF Hearing Project Coordinator work together to find the best option.

How can you help?

As a Lion, Lioness, or Leo, your interest in, and support of, the WLF Hearing Project is essential if it is to achieve its objectives.  What can YOU do to ensure the growth and success of the WLF Hearing Project?

  • Promote in your Club and community and awareness of the importance of good hearing and a greater sensitivity for those who are hard of hearing.
  • Encourage the donation of used (functioning or non-functioning) hearing aids to the WLF Hearing Project.  A continuous supply of hearing aids, which can be recycled for salvage credit, is always needed.  Hearing Aid donors may be eligible for an IRS tax deduction.  Collected donated hearing aids can be deposited in hearing aid or eyeglass containers.  These are available from the Wisconsin Lions Foundation Office.
  • Support your own Club’s efforts to identify individuals who might benefit from the Project, and expedite the process by promptly responding to an applicants’ request for assistance.
  • Continue to make HEARING a major area of interest and service for your Club by including the Hearing Project in your public education endeavors, on your convention and meeting agenda, and as a recipient of your fundraising efforts.