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AG Bell Announces Association Award Recipients for 2010

Washington, D.C.  February 18, 2010 – The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell) today announced the 2010 recipients of its highest honors, recognizing individuals or organizations who make a significant contribution to the hearing loss community.

Established in 1890, AG Bell is the only national organization dedicated to supporting children and adults who are deaf or hard of hearing who use spoken language and hearing technology to communicate.

Begun in 1963, AG Bell’s association awards recognize individuals or organizations whose efforts have made a significant impact on the hearing loss community or have raised public awareness of hearing loss issues. Past recipients include Internet pioneer Vinton Cerf and former Miss America Heather Whitestone; U.S. presidents and elected officials; and organizations such as the National Geographic Society, AT&T and ABC News.

The 2010 award recipients are:

The Alexander Graham Bell Award of Distinction – Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). This award recognizes an individual or organization outside the field of hearing loss who has made an outstanding contribution to hearing loss issues. Congressman Van Hollen has been a strong proponent of full federal funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) through legislation introduced in the House in September (H.R. 3578) and of fairness in assistive technology costs through the Hearing Aid Tax Credit (H.R. 1646/S. 1019), among other issues that impact individuals with hearing loss.

The Volta Award – Ms. Joanna Nichols and Taiwan’s Children’s Hearing Foundation. This award is given to an individual or organization who has made a significant contribution within the field of listening and spoken language. This award recognizes posthumously the life work of Joanna Nichols as well as the ongoing work of the Children’s Hearing Foundation (CHF) which Ms. Nichols, along with her husband Mr. Kenny Cheng, established in 1996. The CHF is largely credited with revolutionizing deaf education in Taiwan by being the first organization to offer a listening and spoken language alternative to children with hearing loss in that country, as well as raising awareness throughout Asia of the listening and spoken language option for children with hearing loss.

The Honors of the Association – Inez K. Janger. This award recognizes an individual who is directly involved in the hearing loss community and exhibits proven dedication toward the goals and purposes of AG Bell. Among Ms. Janger’s many accomplishments at AG Bell, she is a past president of the AG Bell board of director and was the founder of the AG Bell New York Chapter. She spearheaded the strategic analysis, restructuring and streamlining of AG Bell’s membership and chapter operations; oversaw the merger of Auditory-Verbal International which is today known as the AG Bell Academy for Listening and Spoken Language; and lead the design and development of AG Bell’s acclaimed Parent Advocacy Training program that has provided more than 700 parents with the resources to guide their children’s public education. The PAT program is being relaunched this summer at the AG Bell 2010 Biennial Convention.

The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing helps families, health care providers and education professionals understand childhood hearing loss and the importance of early diagnosis and intervention. Through advocacy, education, research and financial aid, AG Bell helps to ensure that every child and adult with hearing loss has the opportunity to listen, talk and thrive. With chapters located in the United States and a network of international affiliates, AG Bell supports its mission: Advocating Independence through Listening and Talking!

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