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ciaf™ mission

Established in 2005, the Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation (CIAF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Springfield, Illinois.  The mission of CIAF is to raise awareness of how cochlear implants restore sound to the hearing impaired and to provide cochlear implant equipment to qualified applicants in need.





AnchorCIAF Hear AgainCochlear Implant Applications for General applicants


Cochlear Corporation Recipients

Advanced Bionics Recipients


AnchorCIAF Hear AgainCochlear Implant Children’s Program

Hearing loss can dramatically affect a child’s ability to develop communication, language, and social skills.  This affects their ability to fully function in a school setting, as well as their ability to reach their full potential as adults.  As CIAF’s founder, Michelle Tjelmeland knows, it is important to give a child the hearing resources they need at an early age.  Her daughter Ellie was born deaf, and received cochlear implants as a small child.  Since then, Ellie has experienced a rich and full life with the gift of sound.

As the parent of a child with severe hearing loss or deafness who is eligible for cochlear implants, you may have many questions and concerns regarding its effects on your child’s future, treatment options, and resources.  CIAF is here to help.  As the nation’s only cochlear implant bank of used-but-not-abused equipment, we are willing and able to answer your questions and provide support.  Visit our Resources page to read about additional resources available to you.

To request equipment through our Cochlear Implant Children’s Program, please complete the following application depending on which company your cochlear implant is made by:

Cochlear Corporation Recipients

Advanced Bionics Recipients


AnchorCIAF Hear Again
Cochlear Implant Seniors’ Program

According to the Hearing Health Foundation, 50 million Americans experience hearing loss.  Anywhere from 9 to 22 out of every 1,000 people have a severe hearing impairment or are deaf.  At least half of these people reported their hearing loss after 64 years of age.  In addition, a large portion of people past the age of 65 with profound hearing loss have lived in a world of silence their entire life because of the lack of technology available to help them hear.  For them, the option of receiving a cochlear implant is life altering.

CIAF is dedicated to giving seniors a chance to restore their hearing by offering support through information and equipment should you choose to explore the option of receiving a cochlear implant. Visit our Resources page to read about additional resources available to you.

To request equipment through our Seniors’ Program, please complete the following application depending on which company your cochlear implant is made by:

Cochlear Corporation Recipients

Advanced Bionics Recipients


AnchorCIAF Hear AgainCochlear Implant Veteran’s Program

Hearing loss and other hearing-related problems are the most common disabilities reported in military veterans.*   While much of the public concern about injuries suffered by post-9/11 troops has focused on missing limbs, brain injuries, and post-traumatic stress disorder, Scott C. Forbes, past-president of the Association of Veterans Administration Audiologists finds the auditory injury to be the signature injury of veterans.  In most recent years, it is estimated that 60% of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan come home with hearing loss.**  As people do not die from a severe hearing loss, it is often overlooked as being a significant injury, even though it dramatically alters the life of the affected individual and his/her family.

Because of these staggering statistics, CIAF created a Cochlear Implant Veteran’s Program to help military veterans whom have sustained severe hearing loss while serving their country.  We welcome the opportunity to offer our knowledge, resources, and database of gently used cochlear implant equipment to qualified veterans.  Visit our Resources page to read about additional resources available to you.

To request equipment through our Veteran’s Program, please complete the following application depending on which company your cochlear implant is made by:

Cochlear Corporation Recipients

Advanced Bionics Recipients

Sources:
* January 2011 Government Accountability Office Report
** The Hearing Health Foundation, 2015


CIAF Hear Again™ Cochlear Implant
Women to Women Program


In this modern day, women have important responsibilities and are significant contributors in making a better society.  Women with hearing impairments or deafness are key members in this era of social change, however the road they must travel to make their contributions is filled with more struggles than a woman who is able to hear.  Limited resources for hearing health care, less educational opportunities, and depression prevent a hearing impaired woman from becoming the best that is within her.  As CIAF’s founder Michelle Tjelmeland is deaf, she fully empathizes with her hearing impaired peers as they chart their course through life. 

For this reason, CIAF developed the Hear Again™ Women to Women Program.  Studies have shown that great success can be achieved by a hearing impaired person if they have the necessary help when seeking out hearing aids or cochlear implants.  Internationally recognized women such as Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low, singer/actress Barbara Streisand, entertainer Whoopi Goldberg, and Miss England 2007, Georgia Horsely, have each risen to the top of their respective vocation because of the care they received for their hearing impairment.

CIAF wants to help hearing impaired women reach their goals and live a fulfilling life.  We offer our knowledge and support to you.  Visit our Resources page to read about additional resources available to you.

To request equipment through our Women to Women Program, please complete the following application depending on which company your cochlear implant is made by:


Cochlear Corporation Recipients

Advanced Bionics Recipients