University of Wisconsin–Madison

Wisconsin Infant and Children’s Statewide Hearing Aid Exchange Service (WISHES)

WISHES LogoThe WISHES program provides hearing instruments for a six month period  to newly identified deaf and hard of hearing children who are not Medicaid eligible and do not have other hearing aid insurance coverage. This purpose of the WISHES program is to assure that all children (ages 0-18 years) identified with a hearing loss have access to auditory development of the brain through high quality hearing technology soon after identification. This temporary assistance is intended to bridge the gap between the identification of a child’s hearing loss and the time it takes the family to obtain the financial means to purchase personal amplification. The WISHES program also serves children awaiting cochlear implant surgery. Children ages 0-3 are given priority. Families may only access the program via their clinical audiologist. This program is operated in partnership with the WisTech Program.

Process

  1. Audiologists identify the need for hearing instruments and determine if funding exists through medical assistance or private insurance.
  2. The audiologist submits an amplification request form indicating the device or devices they are requesting. They also submit the parent use agreement form signed by the family indicating that they will be held financially responsible for loss and damage to the amplification devices. The audiologist submits these forms to WISHES.  
  3. One package of batteries per hearing aid and one parent care kit will be included.
  4. Fitting fees and personal earmold costs are not covered by the WISHES program.  
  5. Hearing instruments dispensed through the program remain the property of WISHES and must be returned after six months unless other agreed upon with the WISHES coordinator.  
  6. Once the process is complete, the audiologist and family are each asked to complete a short survey about their experience with WISHES.  
  7. WISHES retains the right to refuse applications for assistance.

Please direct any specific WISHES questions to Dr. Amy Hartman, WISHES director at (608) 262-6481 or WISHES@csd.wisc.edu.