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A Video to Warm the Heart
This moving video was screened at the annual event of the Friends of Yad Sarah in London and illustrates more than 40 years of activity - for the benefit of all Israelis. * In the video, veteran volunteer Vivian London speaks about her long association with Yad Sarah and the help that was there for her when she needed it * Photography and Editing: Simon Maurer * Research and Production: Benny Cohen, Public Relations
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By Elaine Matlow, Executive Director Tal-El. A V Israel pioneered a method for integrating children with hearing disabilities into mainstream educational programs and now operates from Yad Sarah House in Jerusalem. "Here we feel positive energy and we feel at home."

Twenty five years ago my twin daughters were diagnosed with profound deafness at the age of two. At the time, we were introduced through family members in Canada to the auditory-verbal approach to the rehabilitation of children with hearing loss that would help them develop spoken language through listening. This approach was not yet available in Israel. The possibility of our girls being able to speak and integrate into the hearing world despite their deafness appealed to us. But how could we make this happen? We were living in Jerusalem and raising our family here. Through friends and contacts, we managed to find a wonderful local speech therapist interested in learning about the auditory-verbal approach. We sent her to Toronto to learn. She came back and we began the process of teaching our daughters to listen and to speak using the AV approach. As we saw the amazing results of AV therapy firsthand, we, along with another set of parents and open minded professionals, decided to share what we were experiencing with other parents of deaf children. In 1994, we established AV Israel, a non-profit organization dedicated to making the parent centered AV (Auditory-Verbal) option accessible to all families of children with hearing loss in Israel. Fast forward 25 years and AV Israel is now a national organization serving hundreds of children with hearing loss in 5 centers throughout the country. Just recently, thanks to the support of the National Insurance Agency, we moved our main branch into our new home in the Yad Sarah building in Jerusalem - across the street from our Cochlear Implant program at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center. We are settling in and already feeling the positive energy of being in the Yad Sarah complex. Located on the light train route, access to our new center is easy. Families that come to us feel welcome as they enter the building - a center bustling with activity dedicated to doing good in the world. Entering our child friendly and colorfully designed center, there is a feeling that families have come home. Years of experience have given AV Israel a reputation for excellence. Our capable and dedicated staff members exude the right combination of warmth and professionalism. Our facility houses what we believe is crucial to assure that children with hearing loss get what they need to succeed. We offer a wide range of services to families - initial consultation after diagnosis of hearing loss, hearing tests and hearing aid fittings, cochlear implant rehabilitation, and AV therapy sessions. Our social worker provides a variety of support services to families, from accessing their rights, to empowerment through social and educational gatherings, through one on one sessions. While offering services has been a major focus, we recognize the importance of training professionals in order to make a deep impact on the changing landscape for deaf children. We host university students of communication disorders from 5 programs as well as offering educational enrichment opportunities for licensed speech and language professionals. Since my children were diagnosed, developments in technology and research have caused a revolution in the area of rehabilitation for deaf children. Today, babies undergo infant screening within 48 hours of childbirth, diagnosis of sensory hearing loss within the first 6 months of life, and access to state of the art technology (cochlear implants /digital hearing aids) by the end of their first year of life. With proper intervention in a parent-centered program of AV therapy, it is now recognized that children with ANY hearing loss can reach language levels of their typically hearing peers. They can learn in ANY educational framework and go on to do anything they choose - and succeed! When a baby is diagnosed with deafness today, his/her life is full of promise! We are working with babies of four and five months old. We set them up with suitable technology and begin to involve the parents in the journey of learning spoken language. Unless there is a challenge in addition to the hearing loss, we standardly graduate children from our program by the age of four!! No to special education programs. Yes to total inclusion! The entrance to our new center at Yad Sarah is usually filled with baby carriages. It seems as if we have been in the Yad Sarah building forever. Come and see for yourself!

 
 
Third Graders Collect 500 Coins for Yad Sarah
The children wanted to help others less fortunate

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A Day at Yad Sarah
Chanukah is over and winter is upon us, but at Yad Sarah it is business as usual. See photo gallery above. Read more...

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Giving Stays in the Family
Elisheva Printz, lending director of the Jerusalem region, writes about Yad Sarah's newest branch in Kiryat Ye'arim (Telz- Stone) under the direction of the Felheimer family. * The family is continuing its own tradition as well as that of Yad Sarah's, and has established a local branch in their home * Photography: David Rothner *

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Hagit Yasu Gives Back
Customers who come to the Yad Sarah branch in Sderot are surprised to see Hagit Yasu sitting in front of one of the computers. (pictured) Hagit is well known as the winner of the "Kochav Nolad" program six years ago and received lots of publicity following the win.

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Where Does a Family from Oklahoma Turn When They Need Help in a Medical Emergency? Why, to Yad Sarah, Of Course!

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Yad Sarah is Now Part of the Fun in Jerusalem Family
When Fun in Jerusalem owner and creator Joanna Shebson was looking for a venue to host her family event, she chose Yad Sarah and became a fan

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Our Young People Also Give Back
Thanks to Shmuel Friedman, a high school student who has been volunteering at Yad Sarah's Givataim branch this summer. Helping out in the computer department,Shmuel also helps people carry borrowed equipment to their cars. We wish him the best of luck in his studies next year at a Jerusalem yeshiva. To volunteer, please call *6444

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Beit Safafa: Amina Aliyan speaks the Yad Sarah language
YS site reporter Sumiya Al Nabari talks with the director of the Jerusalem Beit Safafa branch

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As the Music Played, the Patient with Parkinson's Stopped Shaking
Hamutal Ben Or, director of the Day Rehabilitation Center at Yad Sarah House in Jerusalem, talks about a moment when music became therapy * Thanks to Musethica from all of us at Yad Sarah * Photographer: David Rothner

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