IREE Receives Hearing Aids Donation

By Sandra Ríos

IREE (Institute of Rehabilitation and Special Education AC) was founded in 1992 by Cecilia Escobar, Lourdes Jiménez, and María Luna Jiménez to serve special children when the Centro de Crecimiento closed its doors fto special education needs. Since then IREE has focused on primary and secondary education for deaf or learning disabled children. On August 7 the school received a donation of hearing aids from the Starkey Foundation of Starkey Hearing Technologies, a company headquartered in Minnesota.

“Before going to receive the donation in Toluca, the school gave new listening tests to every child. Audiologist Guillermo Sánchez also prepared molds for each child at no cost,” said Cecilia Escobar, current director of IREE, who added that the school rented a bus to carry 23 people, including some former students. “Since most of them are from rural communities, it was the first time for many of them to leave San Miguel. Some of these children attend IREE just two or three times a week because they have little money to pay the fare from their communities to San Miguel,” she said.

Mr. Bill Austin, president of the Starkey Foundation and owner of the company, was present at the donation and personally gave hearing aids to each child. A 15-year-old student from IREE, who in her listening test had proved to be completely deaf, found that when she put the devices in her ears, she was able to hear some sounds.

“This donation was designed not for Guanajuato but for the State of Mexico only, but the Starkey Foundation, knowing IREE’s background during these 22 years, included us as something special, and we were the only ones not from the State of Mexico who received the benefit,” says Escobar.

IREE currently has 19 students between morning and afternoon. The ages range from 3-25 years old. They go to academic classes according to their current level. They receive therapy to learn to speak and use  Mexican sign language. The requirements for a child to attend this school is go to the facilities with  parents for an evaluation to determine if the school.

Since classes are free for all children, IREE is maintained by donations. The school organizes events like dinners, lunches, garage sales, and trips to raise funds. It also gives tax-deductible receipts to people who want to make a monetary contribution. IREE, as a community service, does audiometrics for both children and adults. The school is open from 9 am-1pm and gives speech therapy from 5-7pm. Refugio Sur 11. Colonia San Antonio. Tel. 152 0913.


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