A new program is seeking to collect, refurbish, and distribute used hearing aids to Kentuckians who need assistance.
The Statewide Hearing Aid Assistance and Reuse Program—or SHARP—accepts hearing aids of any age of condition. The donations will be evaluated and refurbished to like-new condition, or will be used for parts.
Jimmy Brown, director of the Kentucky Assistive Technology Service, the group SHARP, says providing hearing aids to someone who can’t afford them will transform their lives.
“Communication is the key. Individuals with a hearing impairment, whether they’re completely deaf or hard of hearing, that communication is key, and being able to provide that component to that individual is going to open many doors, whether it’s for education, or for work, or for their everyday community living-type access.”
Medicare and most health insurance plans don’t cover the cost of hearing aids, and Brown says the average cost of a pair of hearing aids is prohibitively high for many Kentuckians who need the help.