Student Spotlight – Emmaline Pomeroy

Emmaline Pomeroy is a friend to all. Enrolled in OVV’s Exploring Center, she spends her day with Miss Melissa and Miss Selina and her Listening and Spoken Language Provider (LSLP), Miss Ren. Her parents, Blair and Matt Pomeroy, describe her as sassy and sweet all in one. “She loves all things that sparkle and is extremely girly,” Blair says. “She’s outgoing, extroverted, and loves to be the leader of the group.”

Emmaline passed her newborn hearing screening, but after her first birthday Matt and Blair had a gut feeling something was wrong. “She wasn’t hearing us as well as she used to and seemed to be regressing in her language and communication development,” Blair explains. In the fall of 2019, Emmaline’s grandmother told Matt and Blair about “a wonderful school for children who are deaf and hard of hearing called Ohio Valley Voices.” They took a tour and, Blair says, “We were amazed! We met the other students who were not only kind and welcoming, but they were speaking in full sentences!” The tour offered a glimpse of what Emmaline’s life could be, one with friends that understood her and a community that could teach her how to listen and speak. “We saw a future where we could hear our daughter’s voice, and she could hear ours.”

Emmaline soon started at OVV. However, in April 2020, her audiologist suspected that she had lost more of her hearing. After a second hearing test, it was confirmed that she had lost 90% of her hearing. “It was because of OVV that the second drop in hearing loss was caught so quickly,” Blair says. Because of the early catch, they started working with their team at OVV and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to make Emmaline a cochlear implant candidate. “We knew it was going to be a long road to meet the goals we have for Emmaline, but never once did we feel hopeless or alone. We have the best team surrounding our family, championing our girl every step of the way, and equipping us with the tools and resources we need to help her grow and meet her fullest language potential.”

Emmaline is now thriving at OVV. She enjoys art projects and sensory activities and has a blast socializing with her friends. She especially loves spending time with Savannah and Jacy. Her favorite memory is when her LSLP took her outside to see a bird’s nest last spring. It sparked a passion for birds that continues to this day. 

When she’s not at OVV, Emmaline spends time playing outside with her siblings, Liam, Annabelle, and her new baby sister, Grace. Emmaline’s family also works diligently to support her in her language development at home. “We partner with OVV as parents to help our daughter reach her fullest potential,” Blair explains. The Pomeroys continue to utilize the many different therapy techniques Ohio Valley Voices has taught them to help Emmaline grow in her verbal communication skills.

Matt and Blair anticipate that Emmaline will attend OVV until third grade. They can’t say enough about the impact Ohio Valley Voices has had on their family. Emmaline, and so many kids like her, now have a future where verbal communication is a reality. The two encourage the community to speak out and tell others about OVV. “Because of OVV’s life-changing work, we get to hear our daughter laugh, sing, tell us ‘I love you’, say her name, call us ‘Momma’ and ‘Dadda,’ and so much more—not just through sign language, but with her precious voice,” Blair says. “To know we get to hear her and she gets to hear us is truly a lifelong gift we will never take for granted.”