Front Page Chic Spotlight: Ohio Valley Voices
With a 17-year history, a local organization is hosting their first major fundraising event. See how they’ve helped hundreds of local children and their families and how you can attend their New York-style fashion show fundraiser this week!
Cincy Chic: What is Ohio Valley Voices?
Jackie Estes, Director of Ohio Valley Voices: Ohio Valley Voices is a unique school for families of young children living with deafness. Through extensive and specialized early intervention, coupled with cochlear implants and hearing aids, Ohio Valley Voices teaches our young students to talk and hear. Our current census includes 50 students ranging in ages from 6 weeks to 8 years from several counties located in the Southwest Ohio region.
Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind Ohio Valley Voices?
Estes: Ohio Valley Voices (OVV) teaches deaf children to listen and talk. Our objective is for children with severe hearing loss to reach their fullest potential and to communicate independently forever. OVV envisions a world where deaf children and adults are not set apart due to an inability to communicate effectively with hearing people. We imagine a world where all people, regardless of their ability to hear, have the same opportunities to learn, to experience, and to choose according to individual will and potential. Our overall goal includes to graduate 100% of students using oral communication as their primary means of communication and to graduate 100% of students reading at their greatest potential and achieving academic success in the hearing world. To accomplish this, we strive to meet the basic objectives of beginning oral language development as soon as the children’s deafness is diagnosed and to provide the tools necessary for parents and other family members to become their child’s advocate and coach.
Cincy Chic: Who’s behind OVV and how long have you been serving the deaf community in Cincinnati?
Estes: Ohio Valley Voices was formed in 1999 by three families who wanted their young deaf children tos peak. There were no local organizations that taught children with hearing loss to listen and talk. The founders recruited Maria Sentelik, MS, and began to raise funds to start an oral deaf education program for the Tri-State region. A program based on the award-winning curriculum of the Moog Center for Deaf Education in St. Lous, Missouri, was instituted and OVV opened its doors for the first time to serve children with hearing loss and their families. The program expanded rapidly and has grown to be one of the leading oral deaf education programs in the country. In OVV’s 17 year history, we are proud to say that we have served over 500 deaf children living with hearing loss and their parents through our early intervention therapy services. OVV is even more proud to report 135 children have graduated from our programs and are thriving in their schools, side-by-side with their hearing-age peers.
Cincy Chic: Can you tell us more about the upcoming Fashion Show Dinner & Boutique event?
Estes: The Fashion Show Dinner & Boutique is our first annual event. We’ll be doing a New York-style runway theme for the event on November 3. The boutique will open at 5:00 p.m. with 20 unique vendors participating from the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area. The dinner will be by the bite and the fashion show will begin at 8:00 p.m. with fashion from Macy’s and Donna Salyers Fabulous Furs. We will have wonderful silent auction items.
Cincy Chic: What inspired this new fashion show?
Estes: The inspiration behind the Fashion Show Dinner & Boutique is to raise awareness of the school and to help with extra funding for OVV as they work so hard to educate children and help deaf children learn to speak. There are 25 committee members who have worked on this event for almost a year, all of whom have bonded and are happy to have developed friendships while working together. Proceeds from the event will benefit OVV as well as the lives we impact throughout this school year.
Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more or purchase their tickets?
Estes: Readers can RSVP by clicking here.