A Program Evaluation of the Sertoma Arizona Hearing Aid Bank: Resource Availability and Community Needs
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe University of Arizona Hearing Clinic is responsible for receiving all Sertoma Arizona Hearing Aid Bank donations and fitting qualified individuals with one hearing aid at reduced cost. These donations come from a variety of community partners within the greater Tucson area. However, it is not known where the partners receive their donations from, how many donations are brought in per month, or whether the program receives enough donations per month to meet the needs of new applicants. This study aimed to create a clinical process to systematically track hearing aid donations, including donation sources and device characteristics, and determine device resources relative to the number of monthly program applications received. Data collection of all the hearing aid donations and new program applications was conducted between February 1st to March 31st, 2018. During this period, 121 hearing aids were donated and 23 Hearing Aid Bank applications were received, with 12 applicants being referred to the program for services. Only 4% of donated devices were immediately useable for program fittings. An additional 23% of donated devices would be useable if funding were available to recondition them. The other 73% of donated devices could previously have been exchanged for salvage credit through a repair lab. However, the present market for salvageable hearing aid parts is saturated. Therefore, the Hearing Aid Bank cannot rely on salvage credit alone to recondition hearing aids. Additionally, through interviews with the community partners, several program challenges and possible solutions were identified. Recommendations were made for finding new volunteers to help identify and reach out to new donation sources, changing current program practices from unilateral to bilateral fittings, and updating eligibility criteria to serve more individuals. Yet, the data collected here suggests that the current rate of donations and funding would need to be increased to sustain the program.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences