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Give a Life Without Limits

Lauren and Johannes were surprised when they discovered their brand-new baby daughter could not hear. No one in their family had hearing loss and Lauren says that Rophe was the first person she ever met who was deaf.

Written By: Lisa Chutjian

Lauren and Johannes were surprised when they discovered their brand-new baby daughter could not hear. No one in their family had hearing loss and Lauren says that Rophe was the first person she ever met who was deaf. They began a journey of research and learning on the fast track from their home in Alabama.

Exploring Facebook, Lauren came across a college friend, Paige, who posted a photo of her son who is a few years older than Rophe. It was easy to see that Wallace was a happy child – and that cochlear implants were helping him thrive in his family. The moms renewed their friendship and Paige told Lauren about AG Bell and all that she had learned about implants, speech therapy and audiology sessions. She also shared the story of the financial aid that her family had received from AG Bell that made their journey just a little bit easier.

Johannes and Lauren began learning all they could about hearing loss and about Listening and Spoken Language. They were determined that their daughter should hear and talk, and Lauren made the weekly four-hour drive to ensure Rophe had her therapy and that Lauren could practice with Rophe until her next session.

“We believe that Listening and Spoken Language is a priority for our daughter and these early years are a worthy investment of our time and resources,” said Lauren.

Rophe exceled – just five hours after her implants were activated, she was dancing to music – it brought tears to Lauren’s eyes.

Lauren and Johannes have helped Rophe catch up to her age group – and just in time, because their second daughter, Addy, was also born with hearing loss. And they knew just what to do. Addy loves music – and she finds music in everything, including the hum of the vacuum cleaner. Both girls are thriving in their preschool, speaking new words every day.

You can help more Addys and Rophes with the gift of sound. Your donation to AG Bell helps ensure that boys and girls who are deaf and hard of hearing can live a life without limits. Please make your gift today.


AG Bell membership for families is always free!

Family membership benefits:

  • Financial Support

    Scholarships for technology, therapy, and education

  • Professional Guidance

    Speak to a parent who's been there or search for a certified therapist.

  • State Chapters

    Connect with and get support from local families like yours!

  • Resource Library

    Get answers with access to our information library

  • Volta Voices

    A bilingual magazine with in-depth stories about growing up with hearing loss

  • Loft & Leap

    Access to unique leadership & educational programs for teens

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Professional Membership Has Its Benefits

Join today to connect with fellow members, exchange insights, get listed in our global directory, and celebrate the journey of listening & spoken language.

Professional benefits include:

  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

    Earn CEUs through the AG Bell Academy, at our yearly Symposium, or through events held throughout the year for members

  • $100 off Exam Fees

    Take your Listening and Spoken Language Specialist (LSLS®) certification exam for less!

  • Event Discounts

    Discounted registration to AG Bell’s symposium and other events, plus special discounts on travel, restaurants, retail shops and more

  • LSL Professional Directory

    Get listed and found by families that need your services and students that want your mentorship

  • LSL Leading Edge

    An exclusive e-newsletter for AG Bell professional members packed with the latest news and developments in hearing health and the listening & spoken language field

  • Volta Voices 

    AG Bell’s award-winning, quarterly digital magazine in English and Spanish

  • Access to AG Bell’s Network

    Connect with 40+ state chapters located throughout the United States and Puerto Rico

  • Professional Opportunities

    Get involved in AG Bell through committees, task forces, councils and other venues for members to interact and contribute meaningfully

  • The Volta Review 

    Stay current with the latest research through our peer-reviewed, online professional research journal

Seeking membership as a friend or family member?

Membership is always free for family & friends of people who are deaf or hard of hearing and helps connect individuals to our professional community!