New Providence, NJ: Summit Speech School is pleased to announce that The Summit Foundation has renewed its $50,000 grant for Summit Speech School’s Early Intervention Program, the Parent-Infant Program, which provides critical services to Summit area families whose babies are diagnosed with hearing loss.  The program provides evaluations, home-based intervention and parent coaching using Listening and Spoken Language.

“We appreciate the Foundation’s generous funding and long-standing support of our School’s youngest students,” said Mary Baumont, Executive Director of Summit Speech School.  This essential program seeks charitable funding for approximately half its budget.  Thanks to generous donors like The Summit Foundation, Summit Speech School can offer the highest quality therapeutic services to babies and toddlers with hearing loss, coach family members using key language learning techniques at home, and help parents navigate medical and educational options. The result is that most of the approximately 100 babies and toddlers with hearing loss who are enrolled each year in the program go on to attend mainstream schools by preschool or kindergarten.

Summit Speech School was founded on the grounds of Overlook Hospital 54 years ago as NJ’s first “speech” school for deaf children in the era when hearing aids were becoming widely available.  The School remains on the leading edge of understanding hearing technology--such as cochlear implants, digital hearing aids, and bone-anchored hearing aids--and the Listening and Spoken Language approach to deaf education.

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“When a child is first diagnosed, most parents are overwhelmed. Our professionals help them find their way,” says Nancy Schumann, CCC-SLP, LSLS cert. AVT, Coordinator of the Parent Infant Program.  “We work hard to serve as a beacon of hope and expertise for families with children who have hearing loss.”  Summit Speech School offers Listening and Spoken Language programs for deaf and hard of hearing children through high school, and its graduates self-report as successful in mainstream school academics, their social lives and eventual careers.

The Summit Foundation fosters philanthropy by identifying local needs and offering donors flexible ways to make a difference in the lives of their neighbors. Since 2010, it has awarded $6 million through more than 430 competitive grants to tax-exempt organizations that serve the area.