The Hear Me Foundation, established in 1999 is a non-profit 501(c)(3) founded in Fort Bend County serves hundreds of families, children and professional throughout the state of Texas. Presently, the Hear Me Foundation re-established its' location in Kingwood in 2004. The inspiration behind the Foundation was based upon the Founder, Tamala Irish's personal experience as a parent of four children; two with disabilities. Having 25 years of experience as a Paralegal with fabulous outside support from Corporate sponsors, professionals and families throughout the state has enabled Tamala and the Hear Me Foundation the opportunity to further expand.
Tamala is a recent breast cancer survivor. The worst part of having cancer and having to undergo the many treatments that lasted for a year, was her inability to sponsor Hear Me's annual Camp Hear Me and dedicate her time to the Hear Me Foundation and the many needs of her family. On June 5, 2007 Tamala received her final treatment and on June 7, 2007 she, her family, volunteers and counselors from Texas Universities were heading to Camp Hear Me 2007 at the Peaceable Kingdom in Killeen, Texas.
On Friday, June 8, the Hear Me Foundation kicked-off it's weekend starting at 8:00 a.m. with a Networking and roundtable discussion for parents and professionals in our state. Texas Woman University's Chief of Communication Disorder, Dr. Alfred White (A Member of Hear Me's Board) video taped camp Hear Me and had a one on one interview with Tamala and her 15 year old daughter, Taylor Kring. Taylor has been profoundly deaf since her diagnosis at the age of 3 and received a cochlear implant at the age of six (6). Taylor is a student in the Humble Independent School District, presently a Freshman at Quest High School. Doctor's White vision, was and is to capture his many years of experience at Camp Hear Me and with University approval will be producing a video for curriculum purposes with University Students. Taylor was an integral part of the process, as she provided Dr. White and will soon be sharing her story for educational purposes with University Students about the obstacles of being deaf in a hearing society. Even more difficult for Taylor is the very fact, that she is very articulate and uses spoken language as her only form of communication. Dr. Sumali Maroonge of Chief Administrator for Audiology at Lamar University was also present, along with two (2) guest from Thailand who are in the process of formulating a branch in Thailand. Their goals was to watch and observe the weekend. There were many other collaborative Professionals from the state of Texas who specialize in the disability groups of autism, visual impairment, speech impairment, emotional disturbances and more. These professionals will ultimately be the backbone of Hear Me's success with the goal being to instill the same success and confidence in families and children with disabilities. Early intervening services and public awareness is vital to the Hear Me Foundation's educational roll in the State of Texas.
Over 100 Families from around the state of Texas: UT, Lamar University, Texas Woman's University, Austin, Magnolia, Klein, Dallas, Hutto, Tyler, Texarkana, Houston, Richmond/Rosenberg, Katy, Dayton Arlington, Carrollton, Wharton, San Antonio, Killeen, Goose Creek, Dallas and five (5) Humble ISD, children and professionals travelled to join the Hear Me Foundation and Pete and Pam Wright of Wrightslaw at Camp Hear Me 2007. The Hear Me Foundation and Wrightslaw provided a private training held from 9:00 - 4:30 on Saturday, June 9, 2007 This training was tailored and developed by a collaborative effort with Tamala Irish (Founder and President of the Hear Me Foundation), Pete and Pam Wright of Wrightslaw. On Friday, June 8, Pete Wright was the luncheon keynote speaker at the Texas State Bar's conference "Special Education Issues and the Juvenille Justice System to which the Hear Me Foundation also participated. The topic was "Fighting the Good Fight: Juvenile Justice and Special education from the Hard Rock Cottage' to the U.S. Supreme Court." Pete Wright described his experiences as a house parent in a juvenile training school where he worked with many children who were illiterate. Wrightslaws belief: "Ignorance of the law can be as damaging as the child's disability."
Is to publish special education legal and advocacy information for parents, advocates, educators, and attorneys. Our goal is to ensure that children with disabilities have equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency. 20 U.S.C. 1400(c)(1)
Harbor House Law Press publishes books, monographs, digital publications, CD-ROMs, and e-publications about special education legal and advocacy issues, including:
Information for parents about their legal rights and responsibilities, and the requirement that school districts provide children with an education that is "designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for employment and independent living." 20 U.S.C. 1400(d).
Information for educators about the requirement that school districts provide "high quality, intensive professional development . . . [so staff] have the skills and knowledge necessary to enable them to meet . . . those challenging expectations that have been established for all children . . . " 20 U.S.C. 1400(c)(5)(E)
Information for advocates about the statutes, regulations, and caselaw, and how to be an effective advocate.
- Information for attorneys who need access to cases, pleadings, and tactics and strategies used by other counsel.
Parents will always be catalysts for educational reform. At Harbor House Law Press, they provide parents, advocates, educators, and attorneys with information and tools to be successful catalysts!Hear Me's Mission
We agree and share Wrightslaw mission, with emphasis added "ignorance, manipulating and denying the law is not only damaging to the child with the disability but integral to the breakdown of the family unit already facing a number of challenges! It is our vision to promote positive life experiences which will instill independence and confidence while offering unlimited opportunities for personal fulfillment via Education, Public Awareness, Mentoring, Medical & Educational Outreach, Camp and year round events to see our shared visions become a reality and one that is practiced state-wide in every educational setting, including the very service providers that serve our children and provide support to families and their siblings.
To learn more about the Hear Me Foundation, please visit our web site at www.hearmefoundation.org. You can contact Tamala Irish and the Hear Me Foundation at: (281) 359-6725 (Office); and (281) 361-9109 (Fax).