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FAQ's

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.




What is a Cochlear Implant?

A cochlear implant is an electronic device surgically implanted in the skull of someone who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing to provide them with a sense of sound.  The quality of sound provided is not the same as natural sound, but many recipients are able to hear, and understand speech and environmental sounds more accurately, with the help of cochlear implants.  Advancements available in newer equipment can allow recipients to hear better in noisy environments, enjoy music, and even use their implant processors while swimming. 

Does insurance cover the cost of cochlear implant surgery or equipment?

In most cases, yes, but every policy is different and the amount of coverage may vary.  Please check with your plan administrator for complete details.

How can CIAF® help?

The mission of CIAF® is to raise awareness of how cochlear implants restore sound to the hearing impaired and to help restore sound to qualified people in need.

While we do not provide financial assistance for surgery or equipment, we can provide gently used cochlear implant equipment like processors, cables, cords, batteries, and accessories from our ever-growing inventory bank.  Click here to request assistance. 

Does CIAF® cover costs for cochlear implant surgery or equipment not covered by insurance?

No.  CIAF™ does not provide financial assistance for cochlear implant surgery or equipment.

How do I contact CIAF® for assistance?

While we understand some of you may prefer phone calls over emails, please understand that our operation is mighty, but SMALL.  We do not have staff available to field calls.  Additionally, some of our volunteers, including our founder, Michelle Tjelmeland, are cochlear implant recipients themselves, making phone communication difficult.  To contact CIAF™, please click here to do so via email. 

How can I make a financial contribution to CIAF®?

Please click here to do so through our safe, secure PayPal account. 

Is my financial contribution to CIAF® tax deductible?

Yes!  CIAF® is a registered 501(c)(3) and financial donations are tax deductible.

How do I donate gently used cochlear implant equipment and/or batteries?

If you wish to donate gently used cochlear implant equipment like processors, cables, cords, batteries, and accessories, including discontinued models, please send your donation by regular mail to the address below.  Processing will be handled generally within two weeks of receipt, and a letter of receipt will be sent to the donor as quickly as possible thereafter.

Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation®
Attn:  Donations
1413 S MacArthur Blvd
Springfield IL  62704

Do you accept donations of discontinued or obsolete cochlear implant equipment?

Yes!  Many requests we receive are for parts or batteries that are no longer being manufactured.

How should I send my cochlear implant equipment donation to you?

Please package your gently used equipment and batteries carefully so that it arrives to us undamaged.  USPS is the most cost effective method of shipping, but we accept shipments from all carriers.

CIAF®
Attn:  Donations
1413 S MacArthur Blvd
Springfield IL  62704

What happens once I've made a donation of gently used cochlear implant equipment?

Once your donation has been received, we will process it and log it into our inventory bank.  Processing will take place within a few weeks of receipt, and a letter of receipt will be sent to you as quickly as possible thereafter.

What is the process to get help?

Complete the CIAF® application in its entirety. Please note:  ALL incomplete applications will be systematically rejected.  Applicants who are deemed eligible for assistance and whose needs can be matched with equipment from our inventory bank will be notified.  Demand for assistance often exceeds our ability to help but be sure we do our best to help as many people hear as possible within the bounds of our mission and eligibility requirements.  Click here to visit the Get Help page for more details. 

Does everyone who applies for asistance receive help?

No.  Demand for assistance often exceeds our ability to help but we do our best to help as many people hear as possible within the bounds of our mission and eligibility requirements. 

Is my cochlear implant equipment tax deductible?

In most instances, yes.  We will provide a letter verifying your donation.  You should check with your personal tax expert for advice specific to your situation.