2017 Mission Statement
The film 95 Decibels explores the emotional obstacles parents face with an unexpected diagnosis of deafness for their child. With limited experience of deafness, these parents must determine which hearing options and communication strategies will best serve their toddler daughter. They seek the advice of professionals and meet the parents of similar children to research language options. The decision-making process becomes difficult and dramatic.
The Listening and Speaking Approach – Auditory Verbal Therapy For children who are hearing-impaired the 95 Decibels team advocates the AVT philosophy which seeks to maximize the use of a child’s hearing for learning.
AVT, known as the listening and speaking approach, promotes early detection of hearing issues, one-on-one therapy, top audiologic management and hearing devices. With guidance, coaching and modeling, parents become the primary facilitators of their child’s spoken language progress. Ultimately parents and caregivers gain the belief that their child can access mainstream academic, social and occupational choices in life.
95 Decibels (2013) directed by Lisa Reznik, follows the story of her 20-yearold daughter Miranda who, diagnosed profoundly deaf at 18 months, got her first cochlear implant at two years of age and became bi-lateral before starting college.
The goal in sharing the 95 Decibels story is to raise awareness of the option of oral communication and hearing technology, and to advocate on behalf of deaf children that their needs are recognized and supported.
95 Decibels has been screened internationally at film festivals, meetings and educational events.
The film has won a number of festival awards. In June, Sound Advice, an advocacy organization in Ireland, hosted the 2nd Dublin screening of 95 Decibels at the Irish Film Institute, followed by panel discussion including Miranda Meyers, subject of the film, and two teen cochlear-implant users from Ireland who spoke about growing up with this technology.
A major goal in 2017 is to reshape public awareness that deaf people listen and talk, as well as change public perception they are not limited to sign-language for communication. Seeing speaking deaf people who have had success is also important for both the children and their parents. To accomplish this, we are reaching out to mainstream media
1) to take responsibility to educate viewers that millions of deaf and heard of hearing people listen and speak
2) to acknowledge the social progress hearing technology brings.
We recognize that many deaf people choose signing as their primary language. However, most deaf children are born to hearing parents, and current technology allows most of them to learn to hear and speak.