18th ANNUAL EARLY HEARING DETECTION & INTERVENTION MEETING
March 3-5, 2019 • Chicago, IL
Award Winners 2018
EHDI Family Leadership Award:
Melissa is an advocate for promoting educational and public awareness about Microtia/Atresia (M/A) and hearing loss as prompted by her daughter's condition. She is an influential community leader, providing people with support and connection. Her contributions have led to overall improvement of the EHDI service system.
Due to Melissa's contributions to the M/A community, those who are affected by these conditions know of the options available to make the best decisions regarding child care, early intervention, and other services. Melissa founded the largest global support group on Facebook for families affect by M/A and founded the Ear Community, a non-profit devoted to empowering families as they advocate for the needs of their children with M/A. In addition, Melissa worked tirelessly to get November 9th as a day to raise awareness and support for M/A. Melissa has worked to help bridge the gap between those with M/A and medical professionals. To this end, she is a co-investigator, along with researchers from Harvard and Vanderbilt, on a research grant for studying genetic factors in M/A. Melissa also works with early interventionists to help them understand what technologies are available to help children with M/A.
Melissa provides astonishing support to those with deaf or hard of hearing children. Melissa has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Hands & Voices in Colorado and of the Family Advisory Council for the D/HH group at Children's Hospital. She is an active member in IEP meetings, helping families through the process of enrolling their children in educational settings where they are most likely to succeeded.
Melissa works across the globe to raise awareness of M/A and hearing loss and has presented at numerous medical and hearing-related conferences. In addition, Melissa has delivered webinars through Audiology Online. Lastly, Melissa has received several awards including Oticon's Advocacy Award.