Heuser Hearing & Language Academy
formerly Louisville Deaf Oral School
Heuser Hearing & Language Academy (HHLA) is a comprehensive educational community that exists to empower children with hearing loss and those experiencing a speech, language and communication delay to reach their full potential and to effectively participate in the larger community.
2010 Form 990 - click here
What We Are About:
With a rich history of over 60 years of service to the community, the Heuser Hearing & Language Academy formerly the Louisville Deaf Oral School is a regional not-for-profit early childhood educational center for young children who are faced with language, speech and communication challenges, which includes deaf and hard of hearing children, ages birth to seven years of age. Over the years, children faced with processing, speech and language communication challenges have excelled in the small classes, specialized language and vocabulary instruction, enhanced “signal to noise” amplification provided in each classroom offered at the Heuser Hearing & Language Academy. So in 2008, the school announced an expanded mission and changed its name to the Heuser Hearing & Language Academy.
The Heuser Hearing & Language Academy formerly the Louisville Deaf Oral School came to fruition in 1948 through joint sponsorship of the Woman’s Club of Louisville and the Kiwanis Club of Louisville. It was a humble beginning with three children in the basement room of the Woman’s Club. Three teachers volunteered to instruct these students on Saturday mornings. They were Miss Barbara Daugherty, Miss Alice Clark, and Mrs. Ruth Browning. By the close of the first school year, eleven children had enrolled.
Today the Heuser Hearing & Language Academy on the campus of the Heuser Hearing Institute, is a resource for over 150 students a year. The Louisville Deaf Oral School was the first school of its kind in the state of Kentucky and today the Heuser Hearing & Language Academy remains one of a few schools which strongly support the auditory approach yet, when appropriate, uses visual communication modalities to assist young children with a hearing loss and/or other communication challenges with language and literacy development.
The now Heuser Hearing & Language Academy has been recognized as a nationally acclaimed model preschool/kindergarten program and diagnostic center serving deaf and hard of hearing children from 18 Kentucky and seven southern Indiana counties. With an incidence level of 1 to 1000, a school system is challenged to program for young children with hearing losses. For over 20 years, LDOS has partnered with Jefferson County Public Schools and surrounding school systems to provide services for deaf and hard of hearing preschool and kindergarten children at no cost to the families. Now the Academy staff works with each child and their family’s school system to arrange, when possible, placement for their young child who has a hearing loss or a language and speech delay so families can avoid the cost of this very specialized but critical early education. If the Heuser Hearing & Language Academy is not the child’s local school’s placement option, families are provided a sliding tuition scale option that is very considerate of the families other financial obligations. We are happy to say that no child with hearing loss has ever been denied services due to inability to pay.
Throughout its extensive history, the mission of the Heuser Hearing & Language Academy was to promote the growth of the whole person. Today the Heuser Hearing & Language Academy’s curriculum is quite unique, offering highly individualized materials that help foster physical, intellectual, social and emotional development of each child. Currently the Heuser Hearing & Language Academy offers site and home based programs from birth to three which is referred to as the HHLA’s Parent Infant Program. The next stage of the young children educational journey at HHLA is the Preschool and Kindergarten Program which is a center based early childhood program built on a strong foundation of language and communication early learning targeted skills. The Heuser Hearing & Language Academy currently serves young children with a hearing loss serious enough to require amplification and hearing children who demonstrate a significant speech, auditory processing, or language delay which results in a communication challenge.
For a child with hearing loss, the proper amplification device, coupled with auditory and speech training and early intervention, can teach most children to make the best use of their residual hearing. For a child with a speech and language delay early intervention provided by trained teachers and other professionals can effectively lead the process of closing the gap of the delay. Heuser’s Hearing Services Center audiologists, speech and language pathologists, occupational and physical therapists along with Heuser Hearing & Language Academy’s certified teachers work hand-in-hand with parents to help children develop the language skills necessary to effectively communicate. When necessary, visual signs are used to reinforce the child’s development of expressive and receptive language. The Heuser Hearing & Language Academy’s major financial support comes from many sources including: Friends of the Deaf Oral School who operate a resale shop, Fabulous Finds, at Frankfort Avenue, Louisville, Kentucky; The Woman’s Club of Louisville; the Kiwanis Club of Louisville; Louisville Deaf Oral School Foundation; the School’s Chair Fund Trust; our Sponsor-A-Child program; special events; grants; donations from corporate and individual donors.