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Jan 21 2022

Wedding Photography is a Joy, Not a Job

Lea en Español Sometimes, life has a strange way of pulling us in new and unexpected directions. Amanda Emerson never really thought about a career as a wedding photographer. She found an old…


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Paying it Forward

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Lea en Español Caitlin Parton wants to pay it forward. She went to law school to become a disability rights lawyer.   She’s no stranger to advocating, fighting and even suing for her…

2021 Holiday Gift Guide

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The days are getting shorter and the mercury’s dropping. This can only mean that the holidays are approaching. In a world of constant change – especially these past two years – one thing remains the same: It’s always fun to give. Whether you have a child or loved one with hearing loss, Volta Voices has rounded up some gifts that are sure to make them smile.

Beyond the Limits

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Students have had a uniquely difficult time during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Andi Kasri Unrut’s no exception. Andi – his friends call him Akas – studies law at the Esa Unggul University in West Jakarta, Indonesia, and was recently awarded AG Bell’s George H. Nofer Scholarship. Akas, who is deaf, said the scholarship, first and foremost, allowed him the peace of mind to continue with his education during the pandemic. 

An Impressive Adult

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Alexandra Grossi has been profoundly deaf since birth, but wasn’t diagnosed until she was a year and nine months old. Then residing in Massachusetts, her parents researched all the available options and chose the oral route for many reasons. The clinching factor in their decision was meeting an oral Harvard student who was deaf and thriving.

Opportunity Awaits

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Keith Vick has had a nonlinear career path: from mechanical engineer to part-time student to patent lawyer and philanthropist. Much of it was shaped by his hearing loss that he turned into opportunities.

A Lesson in Politics

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Pre-K teacher Michelle Puryear was no stranger to recognizing children’s behavior and learning. However, when her own child, Claire, was born, it took nearly six months before they realized she had hearing difficulty.

Helping Families

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Tara Hubbard’s twin sister did the talking when they were little. Their parents assumed Tara was just a quiet child. “We didn’t find out I am hard of hearing until I was about 4 years old – and I got hearing aids immediately,” she says. Now, Tara is a trial attorney by training and represents a tribe in Phoenix, Arizona in child welfare state court proceedings. She has been at this position for almost five years.

The Mystery-Solver

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“I love the critical problem-solving and strategic thinking required to practice law,” she says. “I also enjoy the exciting variability of the workflow, as no two days seem to be the same. Additionally, my goal is to help individuals solve some of the most difficult situations in their lives.”

A Moment of Serendipity

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If you think you’ve ever been stressed out by a job application, consider Nick Stone. Nick, who’s hard of hearing, faced a dilemma when filling out applications that few people realize exists, and even fewer understand.

AG Bell’s Summer Interns

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This summer, AG Bell welcomed 12 interns to its virtual office to help out in a number of capacities. Interns are a critical part of the AG Bell staff and bring a wide breadth of knowledge and skills to the organization.

Thriving in a Changing World: A Global Gathering

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Nearly 900 people from 47 countries representing all six inhabited continents participated in the AG Bell Global Listening and Spoken Language Virtual Symposium on June 24-25. Attendees came together in a digital learning environment to hear from leaders in the field of listening and spoken language (LSL) through an online learning platform.

Coming Full Circle: A Story of Hope

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Amber Hertz-Tang and Steve Tang talked about having kids who might be deaf before and after they married. They acknowledged it as a distinct possibility, yet assumed the odds were relatively low since Steve is the only one in the family with hearing loss. They knew, however, that should they be faced with a hearing loss diagnosis, they were well equipped.

AG Bell Remembers George H. Nofer

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George H. Nofer was more than just an enthusiastic lawyer and educator. He was dedicated to advancing the education of children who are deaf and hard of hearing, and was particularly passionate about encouraging young, talented people to achieve their full potential. He passed away on April 19, 2021 at age 94.

AG Bell Student Earns Marshall Scholarship

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AG Bell congratulates Caroline Yuk, who has been mentored by Dr. Tilak Ratnanather who leads AG Bell’s STEMM-HEAR initiative, on her award of the Marshall Scholarship. Caroline is a senior at the University of Alabama who will study neuroscience at the University of Oxford and audiology science at University College London next year.

Abbey’s Road

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Abigail Russell, or Abbey, an AG Bell intern and a Leadership Opportunities for Teens (LOFT) graduate, recently decided to get her first cochlear implant—at the age of 23. Born with a condition called Enlarged Vestibular Aqueduct (EVA), which affects hearing in children, Abbey’s hearing fluctuated in and out for the first few years, although she says she could usually hear.

Magic Ears

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My 13-year-old daughter, Harper, is a tenacious and determined teen. She has possessed gusto since the moment she entered the world, which is what led her to publish a children’s book about hearing loss.

The Perfect Vision

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Jack McConnell describes the kid-version of himself as “a basic, bland kid who liked his comic books,” but he is anything but basic or bland. At age 11, he started his own nonprofit called 20/20 Hearing, directed at funding audiology equipment and services for people who needed them.

A Star is Born

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Our son, Phoenix, is a born artist. He has always been passionate about film and television. He has a mature sense of analyzing film as an art and dives deep into each genre. He watches and researches all types of film—foreign, classics, the ‘80’s, etc.—and loves to be challenged about the medium.

LOFT in the Time of Coronavirus

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Yet another of AG Bell’s annual highlights, the Leadership Opportunities for Teens (LOFT), remained unthwarted by the pandemic this July. Though the event moved online, it still brought together teenagers who are deaf and hard of hearing from around the country…

Planning for School During COVID-19

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The school district in St. Augustine, Florida, where Tina Morris lives is providing synchronous teaching for families who choose online. Initially, the plan was for Morris’ son—who is deaf or hard of hearing and wears cochlear implants—to log into each class period every day…

Why I Contribute to AG Bell: John Stanton

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John Stanton serves on AG Bell’s Board of Directors. As a lawyer, he has advocated for AG Bell in a variety of legal matters. He served as AG Bell’s counsel in court cases impacting the rights of people who are deaf and hard of hearing, as well as more generally for people with disabilities.

A Global Virtual Learning Experience

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Nearly 900 people from 40 countries representing all six inhabited continents participated in the AG Bell Global Virtual Listening and Spoken Language Symposium, July 9-10. Attendees came together in a virtual learning environment to hear from leaders in the field of listening and spoken language through a variety of online learning formats.

Graduating During a Pandemic

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Recent graduates who are deaf and hard of hearing have faced unique challenges as members of the Class of 2020 during COVID-19. High school and college seniors have missed out on traditions they’ve looked forward to and earned, including graduation.

Volta Voices Goes Digital

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Welcome to the new, faster, mightier, digitized Volta Voices! Our online format will only differ in platform and presentation from our retired print version, but we will continue to bring you high-quality reporting and writing from our award-winning team.