UW Madison’s Hearing Aid Recycling Program Provides Recycled, Reconditioned Hearing Aids to Community Members
MADISON, Wis. – “There are many people who need hearing aids who cannot afford them. Our program can help,” states Dr. Melanie Buhr-Lawler, Audiologist and Clinical Associate Professor in the UW-Madison Department of Communicative Disorders. Dr. Buhr-Lawler coordinates the UW Hearing Aid Recycling Program (UW HARP). The program provides audiologic testing, hearing aids, and follow-up services at no charge to local adults and children who cannot otherwise afford them. The program is supported by hearing aid donations as well as a generous grant from the former Sertoma Club of Madison.
The Hearing Aid Recycling Program was started several years ago by the Sertoma Club of Madison. The program provides reconditioned hearing aids to approximately one to two people per month. The Sertoma Club of Madison disbanded on July 1, but prior to dissolving, the club left a sizable donation to continue to support low-income people with hearing loss in the Madison area.
The hearing aid donation collection boxes are located at local audiology clinics, local funeral homes, and at the UW Speech and Hearing Clinic on the UW-Madison campus. Donations are tax-deductible. The donated hearing aids are either reconditioned or redeemed for a credit that is used to support the purchase of reconditioned hearing aids.
Reconditioned behind-the ear hearing aids are provided at no cost to people who meet the UW HARP’s audiologic and financial criteria for assistance. Applicants must not be eligible to get hearing aids through another private, governmental, or insurance provider. Ear molds are included, and Rayovac provides each of these patients a year’s supply of batteries.
For more information on donating hearing aids to the program or for an application, see the UW-Madison Department of Communicative Disorder’s website.