Announcing HearingExchange Kids -- The Online Destination for Tweens with Hearing Loss

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HearingExchange Kids, http://www.HearingExchangeKids.com, is the only free, interactive online community for elementary and middle school age children with hearing loss. Deaf and hard of hearing tweens with hearing aids and cochlear implants now have a safe environment where they can learn, meet and have fun. The site offers forums, games, captioned videos, news and information all geared toward enabling them to develop friendships and connections during this essential period in their social and emotional development.

Back to the Hearing World

Paula Rosenthal, publisher of HearingExchange, a blog and community for people with hearing loss and their families, announces the launch of her newest community, HearingExchange Kids at http://www.HearingExchangeKids.com, specifically for elementary and middle school aged children with hearing loss. With earlier diagnosis of hearing loss, advancements in digital hearing aid and cochlear implant technology and the popularity of inclusion and mainstreaming for students with disabilities, increasing numbers of deaf and hard of hearing children attend public schools. Often, they are the only child with a hearing loss in their grade or school district. The HearingExchange Kids website will allow children to find the camaraderie and peer support essential during their tween years of social and emotional development.

Deaf herself, HearingExchange Kids founder Paula Rosenthal says, "I had lots of friends growing up in the mainstream but every now and then it would have been nice to talk with other kids who were deaf or hard of hearing. My friends with normal hearing just didn't understand when I was frustrated in the noisy cafeteria or how hard I had to listen and work in order to succeed academically. Now that I have a deaf child, I wanted someplace for her to connect with other kids who can understand exactly how she feels. I searched the Internet extensively and couldn't find what I was looking for so I created it instead."

HearingExchange Kids offers many opportunities for its young members to learn, have fun and communicate with one another. Articles will focus on tips and news that will appeal to the tween set. The site includes password protected forums which will be co-moderated by teen mentors with hearing loss. HearingExchange Kids offers links to hearing related games, captioned videos, other blogs and websites oriented to children, information on various aspects of hearing loss and much more. A particularly unique feature is the Kids Speak area where members can submit their short stories, jokes or poems and have them published on the site. HearingExchange Kids is the only free, interactive community website geared specifically to mainstreamed tweens with hearing loss.

About Paula Rosenthal
Paula Rosenthal attended mainstream schools and holds a degree in law from Pace University School of Law. She founded HearingExchange, an online community for people with hearing loss and their families in 2000. Her self-syndicated articles on hearing loss and parenting have appeared in numerous websites, print publications and newsletters. Ms. Rosenthal is also a public speaker who shares her experiences and insights as a person with hearing loss and as a parent of a deaf child with support groups and organizations nationwide. In 2007 she received an Oticon Focus on People Award in the Advocacy category. She and her daughter have bilateral cochlear implants and were featured in the cochlear implant video, "Back to the Hearing World" which is streamed online with captions at http://www.cochlearamericas.com/Support/2109.asp. For further information about Ms. Rosenthal, view her bio at http://www.hearingexchange.com/blogs/?page_id=2. HearingExchange Kids can be found online at http://www.hearingexchangekids.com.

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