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Hearing for the First Time on 'Extreme Makeover' (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted Nov 1st 2010 4:10AM
Hearing for the First Time on 'Extreme Makeover' 'Extreme Makeover' (Sun., 8PM ET on ABC) provides deserving people with better surroundings. But what if you can't hear what surrounds you in the first place? On the new episode, the team provides a home -- but they also help a bunch of students feel more at home with themselves.

Ty Pennington and his team must rebuild the Oregon School for the Deaf. This school helps the deaf community in that region, but they're suffering from a lack of funding. So the 'Makeover' squad shows up -- and they don't just want to change the housing.

The school's dormitories date from the 1950s, and now are structurally unsafe. Plus, they look like a "prison," according to one young man. The housing is rebuilt, but more than that, a greater effort is made. The team provides students with hearing aids, allowing them to hear the outside world ... for the first time ever.

One of the students -- a young man named Lukas -- hears his mother say the words "I love you." He turns, understanding the words -- and we realize how valuable being aware of your surroundings can truly be. Yes, the new dorms are important. But receiving your mother's message of love means so much more.

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alex smith

I dont understand why these children didn't have hearing aids to begin with. What am I missing here?

November 01 2010 at 5:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to alex smith's comment
Melissa

Alex - read some of the previous comments and you will see that not all parents can afford state of the art hearing aids, and insurance will generally not pay for them, much less pay for additional ones as a person's hearing diminishes. Getting these hearing aids was probably a dream come true for most of the young people in that school. Ty and his crew did a wonderful thing.

November 01 2010 at 8:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kenneth

I haven't watch the show yet with the deaf school but have it recorded. I'm deaf myself. I don't ask for anything much less help, I'm proud being what I am, I can hear with the help of hearing aids. I think what Ty and his team do for any1 is great. God bless the Extreme Makeover.

November 01 2010 at 1:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
margi

Being the grandparent of two hearing impaired boys, I cannot possibly understand deliberately restricting children from learning another language especially the language of the majority. It's like telling Spanish speaking immigrants they must never learn English. Retain your culture and teach as many people as possible your language, but never stop someone from improving their communication skills. You will probably expect that my grandchildren were fortunate to attend an Aural preschool by using scholarships, participation of the state, and great sacrifice by their parents.

November 01 2010 at 1:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shelly

My daughter attends a residential school for autistic children and young adults. At least half of the kids are wards of the state, so NO, THEY DO NOT HAVE PARENTS WHO CAN BUY THEM HEARING AIDES. Do a little research before you open your big mouth. Many of these kids who are in these schools and group homes have NOTHING and NOBODY. Or they have families who cannot care for them. How about volunteering at a special needs school or group home before you offer your uniformed opinion? I am glad to see Extreme Makeover finally going into a place such as the school for the deaf. I've often wondered why they didn't "makeover" more group homes or nursing homes. There are thousands of hard luck stories about deserving families and I often wonder how they choose one family over another. However, the kids / people in group homes, developemental centers, etc are swept under the carpet ( these are the invisible "needy" ) and it's high time one such facility gets a well-deserved "makeover." That's my opinion, anyway.

November 01 2010 at 1:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to shelly's comment
Gina

umm Shelly, many kids in a residential school for the deaf have families and they are not wards of the state. Perhaps you need to do your homework.

November 01 2010 at 4:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Melissa

Lucky you... I've never watched an episode of this where I DIDN'T cry.... Whether it's a disabled vet or a couple who have taken in "unadoptable" children, I am overwhelmed to see the love Ty and his crew show for these people. It is a wonderful thing they are doing.

November 01 2010 at 12:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sandy

Actually, I live here in Salem Oregon Where this show took place. I have worked with (not for) the states Department of Humah Resources, aka DHS, for several years. And to give somewhat of an answer to your question... Our seemingly great state does squat to assist their people. Unless you you have migrated here, crossed borders illegally or are someone with a crminal background then you have all kinds of rights and privleges. You would receive grants, housing, free schooling/college, food stamps, public assistance, medical coverage. All of this and more at no cost. However, if you are a hard working, tax paying citizen born and raised here you're pretty much screwed. No benifits for you or your family. I know many will say "yeah right" But I'm not joking. I see it and live it everyday. I waas born and raised here in the Capitol of our state and work closely with DHS. I'ts pathetic. No Kudos for my local government.

November 01 2010 at 12:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Sandy's comment
DeafJeff

Consider this:

Audism: The notion that one is superior to another based on one's ability to speak and hear.

November 01 2010 at 11:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to DeafJeff's comment
Gina

Consider this: the word audsim isn't accepted by many in the deaf world. Audsim has been used as a weapon to put down people who advocate for a diverse deaf community.

November 01 2010 at 4:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DeafJeff

Yeah, Gina, I'm aware of what you're saying and that weapon is called the truth. Some people just want to beat around the bush and pour salt on old wounds and that is quite unfortunate.

The meaning is there.
The word is out.
do do?

Now, Gina, I understand what you mean by calling for a diverse deaf community yet when you look at things closely, you'll see a superior attitude come to the surface from those who speak and hear. This belittles the signers and those who value deaf culture.

That's not diverse.
That's discrimination.

November 01 2010 at 5:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Samantha

This was one of my favorite shows, ever. In all these years, only once did I not cry. This one brought a flood of tears. That doctor's kindness in giving these kids the gift of hearing is remarkable.
How about that Halloween Horror house; FANTASTIC! For being a private enterprise, they ended up with the most frightening ghost house EVER!
Ty, are you okay? I noticed you appear a bit ragged around the edges; all since last season. You have a tough job, maybe you should take some time off. Your health is more important than anything.

November 01 2010 at 11:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Amie

Honestly, I find this a potentially offensive "gift". You may want to do a little research about Deaf culture before you go about trying to "fix" these kids. Trying to make them like you (just because they aren't like you) isn't going to fix or solve anything. I know that most people that are Deaf, and embrace their culture would be EXTREMELY offended by this.

November 01 2010 at 11:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
5 replies to Amie's comment
margi

Bravo! But I wonder what in the world does the State of Oregon do for these kids? In Missouri, they would all have hearing aids provided by either the state or private groups. I'm astonished that such a progressive state would stand for the apparent mistreatment of such a vulnerable group of children.

November 01 2010 at 11:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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