Desert Friends offers free hearing screening to 1,500 valley pre-schoolers

Desert Friends offers free hearing screening to 1,500 valley pre-schoolers

PALM DESERT, Calif. - Brynn Campbell and Ayden Blamires, classmates at Sacred Heart Pre-School, received a free hearing screening Wednesday. 

"I heard sounds," said Cambell. 

"It was so easy I could hardly do it," Blamires said.

Carolyn Dolan helps train new audiometrists to join the Desert Friends of John Tracy Clinic and conduct these screenings.  The John Tracy Clinic is the leading diagnostic and education center for young children with hearing loss.

Desert Friends is a local group of specially-trained volunteers who will test more than 1,500 valley pre-schoolers at 36 schools over the next two months. 

"They'll be given headphones and the child will have to listen to four different tones from low, medium and high, and if they hear the tone they drop the block in. That let's us know they hear a tone," Dolan said.

The results get sent home to the parents, and if the child missed any of the sounds they will receive further screening and be advised to see a doctor.  

"If a child has difficulty hearing a tone it will affect their ability to learn a language and it will affect their personality," said Mary McDermand, the Hearing Screening Coordinator for Desert Friends.

The clinic says it's crucial to detect hearing problems early so children get proper medical care. 

For more information on these screenings or to learn how you can become a volunteer audiometrist visit the John Tracy Clinic website at

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