NEW ORLEANS (press release) – A much-needed resource for families across Greater New Orleans and surrounding parishes opened its doors today.
The Bright School, the region’s only Early Intervention program for children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, officially launched its Parent Resource Center, a first for the area that will provide critical education, resource facilitation, advocacy assistance, and support to parents, caregivers, education and service providers, and special education students free of charge.
The Center has been made possible through a generous grant from the EENT Foundation.
The opening event was held at 10 a.m. Nov. 17, 2021, at The Bright School on the Kingsley House campus at 1600 Constance Street.
Speakers included parents and parent advocates, as well as Linda Frantz, the school’s director, and Timothy Bright, Board Chair.
The resources provided by the Center will include guidance on navigating the degrees of hearing loss, Cochlear implants, appropriate school placement, information on legislation resources and policy information regarding the hearing impaired, helpful links for children and teens, as well as parent support groups. The center will offer a Deaf Mentor Program, non-English resources, and Parent Education Sessions to be held throughout the school year. Visits to the center are available by appointment.
Kelley Hill, a Bright School Parent and board member said, “I’m very excited to be able to access the Parent Resource Center. I’m looking forward to spending time learning more about my son’s hearing loss without having to wait on another professional to provide me with the information.”
The new center is the only resource of its kind for families and caregivers of Deaf and Hard of Hearing children in the GNO region. “Early detection of hearing loss coupled with medical, audiological, and educational intervention and treatment is reported to be highly effective in ameliorating the effects of congenital hearing loss which often reduces the need for long-term special education services and substantially reduces the expenditure of public funds.” (Yoshinago-Itano, et. Al., 1998).
To date, The Bright School services have resulted in 85% or more of its students moving on to typical classrooms without the need of Special Education classrooms.