SAN ANTONIO, TX, May 18, 2017 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Mother's Day was Sunday, but for southern moms Kathy Rudkin and Jaime Vernon the real cause for celebration happens this weekend at the Good Vibrations Music and Art Festival in San Antonio where they will see their daughters' dreams come alive. The first of its kind festival is fully accessible to those with hearing loss and deafness. Both moms have daughters who are deaf and driven. Both founded nonprofits that push for inclusion and opportunities in the deaf/hearing loss community.
Emma Faye Rudkin is well known in Texas as a deaf activist and as the twice-crowned Miss San Antonio 2015 and 2017. She founded Aid the Silent to advocate for the deaf community and is the mastermind behind the Good Vibrations Music & Art Festival. The festival features a fully deaf accessible concert with live captioning, ASL interpretation, T-coiling (magnetically transmits sound directly to hearing aids and cochlear implants), vibrating backpacks and a visual light show in sync with performances.
At just 9 years old, Lexi Vernon looks up to Emma as a deaf role model. The two met for the first time in Nashville this summer while their moms shared lunch and stories about the ups and downs of charity work. Jaime Vernon founded Songs for Sound in 2011 after Lexi was overlooked for over a year of her life. After begging for answers and being turned away time and again, Lexi was finally diagnosed as deaf at 15 months old.
"My world went dark for about 5 seconds - that's all we get as moms," recalls Jaime. "The moment I heard about the cochlear implant, I felt peace and everything became light again. We didn't want Lexi to live in silence. We wanted her to learn speech and be able to achieve everything she dreamed of."
Lexi had bilateral cochlear implant surgery and heard her first sounds at 19 months old. Nothing has stood in her way since. By three years old she had caught up to her peers in speech and language development. Today she attends Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville and is an accomplished softball and basketball player.
Vernon wants every child to have the same opportunities as her daughter, advocating strongly for speech and hearing loss resources. Songs for Sound runs five outreach programs to increase awareness, access and action on hearing loss and deafness. The Hear the Music Project brings a no-cost hearing health clinic to community organizations and events across the US providing free hearing tests, hearing protection, and resources to connect you with today's hearing solutions. You can find an audiologist, book an appointment and demo hearing aids, cochlear implants and Captioned Telephones in just minutes aboard the clinic. The project would not exist without support from industry leaders Cochlear Americas, Phonak and CapTel.
"There is a huge part of this story that needs to be told. SUPPORT. Without the generosity of our title sponsors, Cochlear Americas, Phonak and CapTel, this mission would never be possible," says Vernon. "Charities really do operate on a dime. Songs for Sound hosts over 260 events a year with just two full-time employees and three part-timers."
The Hear the Music Project will proudly provide services at the Good Vibrations Music and Art Festival on May 20 with an encore performance the following weekend at Oklahoma's Rocklahoma. For all tour dates, to book the Hear the Music Project, for more information or to support Songs for Sound's mission and the hearing loss community, visit http://songsforsound.com/
.About Songs for Sound:
Songs for Sound is a Nashville-based nonprofit organization aims to bridge the gap between "I think I have hearing loss" and quality hearing healthcare while increasing inclusion and opportunities for those with hearing loss and deafness. The organization serves as a voice for veterans, senior citizens, and children with hearing loss, provides education on hearing loss solutions, raises funds for individuals with hearing loss, and lobbies for legislation that makes solutions more affordable and accessible.