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UW–Madison program provides reconditioned hearing aids

September 28, 2011

A hearing aid recycling program that helps provide services to low-income individuals is under way, led by the University of Wisconsin–Madison Department of Communicative Disorders.

“There are many people who need hearing aids who cannot afford them. Our program can help,” says Melanie Buhr-Lawler, audiologist and clinical associate professor in the department who coordinates the UW Hearing Aid Recycling Program.

The program provides audiologic testing, hearing aids and follow-up services at no charge to local adults and children who cannot otherwise afford them. The program provides reconditioned hearing aids to approximately one to two people per month.

Hearing-aid collection boxes are located at local audiology clinics, local funeral homes and at the Speech and Hearing Clinic on the UW–Madison campus. Donations are tax-deductible.

The donated hearing aids are either reconditioned or redeemed for a credit that is used to support the purchase of reconditioned hearing aids. Reconditioned behind-the-ear hearing aids are provided at no cost to people who meet the program’s audiologic and financial criteria for assistance.

Applicants must not be eligible to get hearing aids through another private, governmental or insurance provider. Ear molds are included, and Rayovac provides each of these patients a year’s supply of batteries.

For more information on donating hearing aids to the program or for an application, visit this site.

The program is supported by hearing aid donations as well as a generous grant from the former Sertoma Club of Madison.

The Hearing Aid Recycling Program was started several years ago by the Sertoma Club of Madison. The club disbanded on July 1, but prior to dissolving, it left a sizable donation to continue to support low-income people with hearing loss in the Madison area.