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The Maryland Hearing Aid and Language and Communication Video Loan Bank

Category Family Partnerships, Strategic Collaboration
Imperative Access, Equity, Progress
Resource Type Resource

The Maryland Hearing Aid and Language & Communication Video Loan Bank is a Statewide resource for families of children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Families without access through insurance or other means may borrow hearing aids for up to one year. The Loan Bank also offers videos and links to various resources to help families learn the language or communication method they choose to your with their children.

For many parents, learning that their new baby is Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing (D/HoH) comes as a complete surprise.  More than 90% of D/HoH children are born to hearing parents with no family history of deafness. Families with a newly identified child face many choices and an array of information that can feel overwhelming.  As the child grows, families face new challenges, new opportunities, and new questions. Families may wonder:

  • Does our child need hearing aids?  If so, how will we afford them?
  • How will we communicate with our child?
  • We want to use American Sign Language with our child, how we can learn this new language?
  • How can we help our child use their hearing devices to understand and use spoken language?
  • Would Cued Speech be helpful for our child? 
  • How will our child learn to read?

The Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Early Intervention/Special Education is committed to supporting these families as they nurture their child’s development.  Begun in 2002 to provide hearing aids to infants and toddlers, the Maryland Hearing Aid and Language & Communication Video Loan Bank now offers multiple resources for families of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing children from birth through the end of high school.  Families can borrow hearing aids and/or DVDs and other materials to learn about options for supporting their child’s language development.

Eligible families:

  • Are Maryland residents
  • Have a child diagnosed by an audiologist or other medical profession as Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing from birth to age 21 who has not yet graduated from high school
  • If applying for hearing aids, don’t have insurance coverage for hearing aids, are experiencing delays or difficulties acquiring or replacing hearings aids, and/or need a “hearing aid trial” before purchasing personal aids or receiving a cochlear implant.

All resources are provided to families at NO COST!


Use these links to learn more or request materials from the Loan Bank:

For more information about the Maryland Hearing Aid and Language & Communication Video Loan Bank, contact:

     Zella Shabasson, Au.D, Audiologist
     410-76-0739  zella.shabasson@maryland.gov

     Marny Helfrich, M. Ed., School-Age Performance Specialist
     410-767-0248  marny.helfrich@maryland.gov