Memphis Oral School for the Deaf

Project #4: Memphis Oral School for the Deaf


Their Mission:

Empowering Deaf Children to Listen, Learn, and Talk. 

C+C Impact:

Confections & Connections was able to purchase many home therapy tools & toys needed to fill "welcome kits" given to families who have newly joined MOSD's Sound Beginnings Program!



What is MOSD?

Memphis Oral School for the Deaf is... awesome. They really are. I had never heard of the amazing work of MOSD prior to someone suggesting it as a potential project. Little did I know, I actually pass it on Poplar almost on a daily basis. You may not have heard of it either and I am happy to fill you in!

Memphis Oral School for the Deaf, or MOSD, was founded over 50 years ago & now resides in Germantown, TN on the campus of Kingsway Christian Church (right by Whole Foods). This non-profit specifically serves deaf children ranging from birth to 6 years of age. Their goal is to set a solid educational foundation for hearing-impaired children, giving them equal opportunity to succeed among all their peers. In fact, when a child graduates from MOSD, they are able to move into their neighborhood schools & into everyday life with little to no set backs resulting from hearing loss. 

Something you may find interesting... MOSD does not use any sign language. Instead they are committed to the auditory/oral approach. If desired, technology today actually makes sign language (for most) no longer necessary. With proper amplification, deaf children have the opportunity to listen, learn, and talk. Therefore, with the use of a hearing device, MOSD's unique resources, & a daily combination of age-appropriate education, speech-language therapy, & audiological services, a deaf child can & will learn how to listen... how to learn... & how to talk. So cool!

 Music fun at MOSD!
"With the technology (hearing aids and cochlear implants) and early auditory-verbal intervention available today, a child with hearing loss CAN have the same opportunity as a child with typical hearing to develop audition, speech, language, cognition, conversational competence, literacy skills, and academic skills." **
 
"Fortunately, 95 percent of these {hearing impaired} children have at least some degree of residual (or undamaged) hearing. Only about 5 percent have what can be termed as a "total loss" of hearing, for whom the cochlear implant is now available. As a general rule, it can be said that if a hearing-impaired child does not develop the ABILITY TO SPEAK, it is because he was simply not taught to do so." **

Getting Connected!

This project was especially fun to get connected with. With previous projects, I simply collected the money & donated at the duration of the Projects. Though I still enjoyed that process with other organizations, MOSD was the first Project I REALLY got connected with. This time through I thought, "Maybe I should let the organization know what I'm doing...?" Well, no kidding.

MOSD was more than welcoming when I contacted them! I was immediately invited to the school for a tour & to meet the staff/ students & all around learn more about what MOSD is all about. Not surprisingly, I was pleasantly overwhelmed as I walked through the school. It looked like every other pre-school with art work covering the walls & children in music class/ learning in the classroom, but much more happens within those walls. Special rooms with fancy equipment, microphones attached to teachers, & hearing aids camouflaged on each child were just a few of the more obvious differences. I had the opportunity to talk to many of the staff members, who I kid you not, were some of the nicest & most caring individuals I have had the pleasure of meeting.  I also got to go classroom to classroom, meeting the students & observing them learn. When I walked in, the kids were excited to see a guest & were more than willing to tell me all about what they were doing. As they talked & the teacher asked them questions about their work, without them even noticing, their speech was in practice as they were directed answer to answer. It was very cool to witness the process of learning at MOSD. It is amazing how much these children have to accomplish, just to catch up with a hearing peer & nonetheless, they pass with flying colors.

I also had the opportunity to attend the MOSD graduation ceremony which was 100% one of the cutest & sweetest things I have ever seen. I saw many happy tears & big smiles as family & friends watched their tiny people in caps & gowns walk down the aisle. The ceremony seemed to stand for so much more than the transition from one school to the next. This graduation represented the defeat of hearing loss. The defeat of something that was once a set back but now plays little significance in the lives of these children. These kids are no longer different than anyone else. Their hearing will not define them nor will it hold them back. These kids are truly inspiring. One of my favorite parts- each graduate playing the violin!

Memphis Oral School for the Deaf is unique & truly a blessing. MOSD is an asset to hearing impaired children & schools like MOSD are not on every corner. Their work serves a specific yet much needed purpose. I am so thankful & honored to have such a school right here in Germantown. They touch & help many lives in our community and in those surrounding who drive many miles to be a part of the school. Not to mention, they are a non-profit... unreal. 

If you would like to learn more about MOSD or see what else you can do to donate, help, show appreciation, support, etc. head on over to their website at MOSDKIDS.org!


Confections & Connections Impact

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With all the orders and additional donations, we were able to raise a little over $600 for MOSD!! This donation went towards their Sound Beginnings Family Training Program! With each new family who starts this program, MOSD gives a "welcome kit" filled with toys & tools that the parents can take home & use with their children in an attempt to jumpstart & stimulate language. Each item in the basket serves a specific purpose in the home therapy process, preparing each child for the next step in overcoming their hearing impairment. This is an awesome program that MOSD offers and many new families are joining this fall. With that, a lot of baskets will need to be filled! Thats where C+C came in!

Sounds Beginnings is an early intervention program designed for families with infants or children (birth-3years) who have been newly diagnosed with any degree or type of hearing loss. In the Sound Beginnings Program, MOSD offers a multitude of services including: language, listening, and speech therapy for individual families (English and/or Spanish), monthly educational meetings, on-site audiology services, & more. Parents are trained to become their child's first teacher. They will discover how to turn every day routines into listening & language experiences. 

Want to learn more about the Sound Beginnings Program, click below.

** quotes found on MOSDKIDS.org