Silence to Speech Campaign -

OUR IMPACT

Annual Report

The 2023 Annual Report is an informative look inside Ohio Valley Voices featuring profiles of our graduates, loads of stats, and financial data. Check it out!

Annual Report 2023

Outcomes

Ohio Valley Voices is one of the best early intervention programs of its kind in the country. We are proud of the work we do and of the extraordinary accomplishments of our children. Our outcomes speak for themselves:

  • 12.5 hours of speech therapy per week for every child.
  • 82% of OVV graduates read at or above grade level.*
  • 83% of OVV graduates speak the same as their hearing peers.*
  • 83% of OVV graduates attend college or post-secondary education.*
  • Small class sizes.

*Based on 2022 data of children who started at Ohio Valley Voices before the age of three and had no secondary disability.

TESTIMONIALS

"OVV is a place that makes the impossible possible.”

Lori and Tyler Lang, Alumni Parents

“We allow for children with hearing loss to shoot for the stars, not suppress their dreams. My favorite part of working at Ohio Valley Voices is watching parents become confident advocates for their children. Through hard work and dedication, our team makes miracles happen every day.”

Meredith Craven, Director of Special Services

“The teachers at OVV didn’t give up on us, and that pushed us to do more and be better.”

Cecilia Wilhelmy, Alumni

“It is wonderful to see our students’ growth during their time at OVV. To see them go from being toddlers in the Family Center to crossing the stage at graduation is simply amazing.”

Ashley Domek, Listening and Spoken Language Provider

“Having a child with hearing loss in a hearing world is less daunting to us because we know we have the people at OVV in our corner who love and support us.”

Emily Tilling, Alumni Parent

“Within the first few minutes of entering the building, you can feel the love that the OVV staff has for the children in their care. These people are passionate about leveling the playing field for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.”

Jack Wild, Board Member

“OVV has been the biggest blessing. They give us tools through parent education to help us get our kids better engaged. They always have helpful suggestions and are there just to lend an ear if that’s what is needed.”

Parris Jarrett, Parent

“OVV was invaluable in teaching us how to parent a child with hearing loss. I attended weekly parenting classes to learn about deaf education and joined a support group. In addition, OVV’s teachers and staff offered advice or served as a sounding board.”

Gina DeBlasio, Alumni Parent

“There will never be a time in my life that I will forget what they have done to help our son Jack be successful and overcome so many hurdles. My family is forever indebted to OVV.”

Amanda Dressman, Parent

“The mission of Ohio Valley Voices is near and dear to my heart. After working at other institutions around the country, I’ve realized that the specialized services provided by OVV are invaluable to families, yet they are missing from many regions. Donating to OVV allows me to help them offer more equitable opportunities for families in early childhood from all walks of life. These invaluable services not only impact each OVV family but the community as a whole.”

Julie Sill, Former Employee and Supporter

“I am constantly working with the program’s speech-language pathologists, deaf educators, classroom teachers, and teachers’ aides to best help the child. I love how we can bounce ideas off each other, share opinions, and put our brains together to ensure the child is successful.”

Rachel Wade, Resident Audiologist

“When our son started at Ohio Valley Voices, he knew only a few words. However, the progress he made in just a few weeks confirmed that OVV was the right place for him to learn. We were thrilled they had space for him.”

Emily Van Zile, Parent

“The most rewarding aspect of working at OVV is watching the children’s and families’ confidence grow through the years. Children become confident not only in their communication skills, but also in wearing their devices. They learn to become their own advocates. Parents also become confident in being powerful advocates for their child and carrying over language skills at home.”

Megan Stercula, Listening and Spoken Language Provider

“A favorite memory of Ohio Valley Voices from our involvement is the holiday show in 2009, which was the first event we attended at OVV. I distinctly remember the first time I heard profoundly deaf students speak and sing—it was magical! My wife and I had trouble reconciling the idea that these students speaking and singing so clearly were deaf.” 

Carl DeBlasio, Alumni Grandparent

“OVV is uniquely positioned to give deaf and hard of hearing children the intensive speech therapy and support to help them communicate more clearly.”

Julie Swain, Parent

“Once we visited OVV all our fears melted away. Everyone was so warm, welcoming, and understanding. We toured the school and saw happy kids making amazing progress. Once we saw that, there was no doubt in our minds OVV was the right place for her.”

Anjali Narayanan, Alumni Parent and Committee Member

"So much love and care has been shown to Landon and our family. Not only with regard to speech therapy, but by answering our questions, calming our nerves, reassuring us about the future, and so much more that we didn’t know would go into one-hour parent-infant sessions.”

Jen and Alex Hrovat, Parents

“The most rewarding part of being at Ohio Valley Voices is hearing the children talking in the hallways and seeing their faces as they work so hard to produce sounds, words, and simple sentences.”

Michell Ellis, Program Administrative Coordinator

“When our child was diagnosed deaf, I thought we were going to have to move away from Cincinnati. We had never heard of OVV. It turns out that OVV is one of the best programs of its kind in the world, and it’s right here in Cincinnati. OVV is one of our area’s best-kept secrets.”

Jon Westerman, Parent and Board Member

“OVV’s Parent Group was a great support system. It allowed us parents to be at the school often and see the progress up close. Having a designated place for parents to gather before and after school was nice, too, since we were able to discuss our fears, concerns, and successes with each other.”

Matt Peffly, Alumni Parent

“We know that being at OVV allows our son to live an extraordinary life. So much concern about his future has been alleviated. We can breathe more easily, knowing that our son has a firm foundation upon which to build his future.”

Emily Van Zile, Parent

“OVV is a special place because every single person there is so dedicated to improving the lives of these kids. They advocate for these kids and provide much-needed emotional support to the families.”

Anjali Narayanan, Alumni Parent and Committee Member

“The quality of the services at OVV is amazing. Children with hearing loss who have the opportunity to attend OVV are so fortunate. There is no place like it in the region—and I might say anywhere! These superb services are being delivered in a setting designed to meet the needs of the children and their families.”

Nancy Creaghead, Board Member

“Ohio Valley Voices constantly provides solutions to our challenges. As a parent, that is priceless. We are also able to get Jacy the additional therapies she needs. This takes so much stress off our family and allows us to spend more time together."

Jamie Bryant, Parent

“Ohio Valley Voices is truly a place where miracles happen and lives are changed. Every day there is something to celebrate—whether it’s a child responding to their first sound, understanding their first word, speaking their first word, or chatting away down the hallway.” 

Megan Stercula, Listening and Spoken Language Provider

“At OVV they taught us, ‘When you talk to people, don’t be afraid to show them who you really are. If you accept yourself, others will accept you.’”

Cecilia Wilhelmy, Alumni

“We have a group of kids at OVV who work so incredibly hard to learn to do what hearing people take for granted. There are lots of ‘bends in the road’ in teaching children who are deaf or hard of hearing, and it is our job to make the turn with them to ensure they succeed.”

Molly Weber, Associate Director

“I love to be there for our families as they navigate the early years of having a child with hearing loss."

Alysia Becker, Lead Toddler Teacher

“OVV not only teaches our son how to speak, but they help him be his best self. They give him confidence to embrace his hearing loss and one day champion others with similar challenges.”

Brittany BieryGolick, Parent

“The staff is so sweet and has made the learning experience so fun and enjoyable.”

Savannah Clayton, Parent

“OVV takes kids just as they are, no matter their challenge, and pays an unrivaled level of individual attention to their unique needs, and not just in an academic sense. We truly believe there is no other place like it.“

Aaron Davidson, Parent

“As the parent of a hearing-impaired child that has experienced a great deal of success at OVV, I cannot overstate what this organization means to my family. It has changed the prospects of our son’s future and the future of so many hearing-impaired children just like him. The work that OVV does for these children and their families is so impactful, and the results are so amazing, it is difficult to imagine our life without them.”

Jon Westerman, Parent and Board Member

“I believe OVV really changes the lives of children, whose destiny would otherwise be to struggle socially and in their work.”

Filippo Passerini, Supporter

“The OVV community is special. They understood the obstacles faced by parents of children with hearing loss and helped us overcome them with ease.”

Stacey Dugan, Parent

"I am so grateful OVV was available at such a crucial time in Lily’s development. Her language acquisition would have been negatively impacted if she had not been able to attend OVV as soon as she was diagnosed.”

Gina DeBlasio, Alumni Parent

“The OVV community has been such an amazing addition to our lives. We truly feel like they are another little family we have become a part of. We trust in their abilities to teach Landon, to help him grow, to love him.” 

Jen and Alex Hrovat, Parents

“The attention to detail and the amount of work OVV's teachers puts into teaching our son everything he needs to learn has been absolutely mind-blowing,”

Amanda Dressman, Parent

“As a grantor, I look for organizations that solve problems and produce exceptional outcomes. Ohio Valley Voices has educated so many young people who, despite having hearing loss, develop superlative listening and speaking skills—skills that in turn enable them to succeed at numerous endeavors whether academic, athletic, artistic, or interpersonal.”

Ruth Klette, Supporter

“Ohio Valley Voices is a special place because it is a community. And I love that I get to be a part of a community that makes such a huge difference in children’s lives.”

Ashley Domek, Listening and Spoken Language Provider

“I came out of OVV knowing that I’m not alone in being deaf, that there are other kids like me. OVV put me on the path to a future of my own making.”

Leo Haban, Alumni

“I love our parent support group at OVV. I have made real friends who are ahead of me in their journey and some that are exactly where I am at."

Lindsay Herrmann, Parent

“The Ohio Valley Voices mission of teaching children who are deaf and hearing impaired to listen and speak is special in my view because when our children leave OVV they have a pathway forward in their lives to be whatever they want to be."

Jack Wild, Board Member

“When Joyce started at Ohio Valley Voices, confidence was not one of her top traits. However, since being at OVV, her confidence has skyrocketed. I am so thrilled to see her believe in herself as much as we believe in her.”

Emily Tilling, Alumni Parent

“OVV gave us everything we needed when we needed it. We got information, advocacy, support, comradery with other families, strategies to help the boys, guidance, and technical support. It was like a one-stop shop that provided us with a full tool kit for raising our sons and giving them what they needed for a future filled with opportunity. OVV gave us hope and peace of mind.”

Kelly Pitocco, Parent

“It is truly special to help a child from their enrollment all the way through their graduation. We serve many alumni patients as well and always love seeing familiar faces after they have graduated from OVV.”

Rachel Wade, Resident Audiologist

“Working at OVV is indescribable, and the impact that this organization has had on my life is something I will be forever grateful for.”

Michell Ellis, Program Administrative Coordinator

“The most rewarding part of working at OVV is seeing how excited one of my students is because he or she has just reached a huge milestone. When they realize they’re producing a speech sound correctly for the first time, you see their confidence skyrocket!”

Katy Baron, Listening and Spoken Language Provider

“Our son’s experience at OVV has been nothing short of exceptional. He has grown so much over the past three years and his speech has improved by leaps and bounds.”

Stacey Dugan, Parent

“The staff were nice and showed genuine care. They made learning fun.”

Alex Haban, Alumni

“I was immediately amazed with everything about Ohio Valley Voices—the young children who were born deaf learning to speak, the children who were getting ready to graduate and were having conversations just like their hearing peers, and the families who were so resilient and invested in their child’s hearing journey.”

Megan Stercula, Listening and Spoken Language Provider

"Ohio Valley Voices has been such a blessing for Theo and our family. It has already had a profound impact on Theo’s ability to communicate effectively, which in turn has had a profound effect on our entire family and our approach to raising him. It’s hard to imagine where Theo would be without OVV, but we’re glad we don’t have to think too hard about that."

Janet Li, Parent

“OVV changes lives. The support for the parents is phenomenal. The education is extraordinary. Every other school Shane has been to cannot compare with OVV.”

Patsy DiGiovanna, Alumni Parent

“OVV has been life-altering for our family. While there still are challenges every day, these are mostly minor. Without the OVV experience, we‘d have to focus so much more on basic communication. The kids‘ accomplishments wouldn‘t be what they are today.”

Martin Wilhelmy, Alumni Parent

“I feel very lucky to have worked with so many wonderful families, students, and staff members at OVV. I remain connected with many of the families on social media to this day. It has been such a joy to watch their children continue to grow and achieve so much in life.”

Julie Sill, Former Employee and Supporter

“We’ve been involved with Ohio Valley Voices for over twelve years now, and we’re never disappointed when we visit. It’s consistently a place of positivity and hard work. Due in large part to OVV, our granddaughter Lily is thriving. She’s an active, typical 13-year old.”

Carl DeBlasio, Alumni Grandparent

“Everything OVV does for its students has so much thought and dedication behind it. They figure out ways to meet and even go beyond what each individual child needs to be their best self. They are absolutely remarkable at what they do. I know my family, and most importantly Jack, would be absolutely lost without them, especially in those first few critical years.”

Amanda Dressman, Parent

 “The ideology behind the school, its commitment to providing data-driven services, its focus on building strong connections with parents, the outcomes of the students—these are just some of the factors that drew me to Ohio Valley Voices."

Meredith Craven, Director of Special Services

“Noah is excelling and the happiest we have ever seen him. He went from saying choppy phrases and being hard to understand to speaking clearly in complete thoughts. His progress is amazing. He fit right into the OVV family and was welcomed with open arms.”

Danielle Davidson, Parent

“Not only do we give the children the potential to speak but we have also introduced them to the skills of listening and learning and what can be achieved with those skills. I think the most successful people are great listeners and learners. Those skills in themselves help them grow and mature. These children learn early on what great results can happen by listening and learning.”

Jack Wild, Board Member

“My husband and I have had to make a ton of medical decisions for our kids. Sometimes we say, ‘Oh, why did we do that?’ or ‘We should have done this.’ That’s one thing we will never say about Ohio Valley Voices. It is the absolute best decision we have made for our kids’ futures.”

Mary Beth Turk, Parent

“When I first heard that OVV was helping children with profound hearing loss learn how to talk, I couldn’t comprehend how that was possible. I still can’t comprehend it, yet I’ve witnessed it happen!”

Jason Dempsey, Supporter

“I can’t say enough about the education Evan is getting at OVV. The teachers and staff truly care about every child. If it wasn’t for their hard work, dedication, and patience, Evan would not be where he is today. We are so lucky to live in Cincinnati and have access to this top-notch school.”

Parris Jarrett, Parent

“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. To know we get to hear her and she gets to hear us is truly a lifelong gift we will never take for granted.”

Blair and Matt Pomeroy, Parents

“Attending graduation always fills me with pride—in the students, the families, the OVV team—for all the hard work they’ve accomplished to get to that moment. It is truly inspiring to witness the students use their voices so confidently during their graduation speeches and to know they are beginning a new and exciting chapter full of possibilities.”

Hali Zorb, Discovery Center Coordinator

“You don’t expect to rely on total strangers to improve your child’s future astronomically. Yet OVV created and supported a path for Sam that would not have been possible otherwise. They reminded us to never settle and always have the highest expectations for Sam. They have built such an amazing foundation and broadened his future in ways no one else could.”

Lori and Tyler Lang, Alumni Parents

“Now that I’ve been here for over five years and seen my students progress from preschool to graduation, it’s clear to me that the amount of time I get to spend on intervention pays off. I see my students in groups of two or three for three or four 30-40 minute sessions every day, which adds up to about two and a half hours of speech and language therapy per day per student.”

Katy Baron, Listening and Spoken Language Provider

“The most rewarding aspect is watching the kids grow and thrive with their listening and language skills. I acknowledge it’s hard work for everybody—kids, families, teachers, audiologists, speech-language pathologists—but it pays off. Every new communication attempt, sound, and word is just so beautiful.”

Martina Guarello, Former Teacher

“Shane attended OVV from fall 2001 to spring 2005, and they were definitely some of the happiest years of his life. The way this hard work was wrapped in fun meant that Shane couldn’t wait to go to school. Every moment at OVV was pure joy. Our family feels happiness when we think of Shane’s time at OVV."

Patsy DiGiovanna, Alumni Parent

“OVV has been a godsend. They have made this very overwhelming experience much easier for me to understand and have given me confidence in what I am doing.”

Lindsay Herrmann, Parent

“I often cry happy tears. I love coming to work each day and connecting with the kids.”

Kristen Haught, Testing Administrator

“I get excited when a child utters their first ‘Uh-oh!,’ takes their first step, or has success with potty training.”

Alysia Becker, Lead Toddler Teacher

“The staff and families of OVV are like one big family—rooting and cheering each other on for each milestone or letting you know that they’re there for you when times are challenging or uncertain."

Katie Sharp, Parent

“In essence, the mission of OVV is to prepare its graduates for a normal school. But these graduates are far from normal, they are hardworking, fully actualized human beings. How many schools, organizations, and companies can claim that kind of accomplishment?”

Andrew Sweeny, Supporter

“I think the biggest honor is helping my students find their voice in a fun and nurturing environment while supporting the families on their journey. It is also incredible to be able to witness our toddlers begin to use language and grow into their personalities!”

Katelyn Krekeler, Listening and Spoken Language Provider

“After our first meeting at OVV, we knew they would be an important part of the village we were building to support ourselves and our son."

Brittany BieryGolick, Parent

“OVV is such a unique setting that allows children with hearing loss to become strong communicators. The families and staff are so dedicated to each child. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?”

Danielle Simmons, Exploring Center Coordinator

“We know that because of her experiences at OVV, Joyce will thrive wherever she goes. We also have more knowledge about how we can support her in her continued speech development. Ohio Valley Voices was exactly what we needed at exactly the right time.”

Emily Tilling, Alumni Parent

"Jasmine loved attending OVV. She didn’t realize it at the time, but she learned so much, which was all done through play. It was intense, yes, but it never felt like work. It was always fun."

Matt Peffly, Alumni Parent

“’It takes a village to raise a child.' This quote is especially true for families who are raising a deaf child in a hearing world. When you come to OVV, it becomes your village.”

Julie Carter, Teacher

“I can’t overstate OVV’s impact on our family. Because of OVV, Lily is able to communicate with anyone and everyone. Lily is able to overcome the limitations often placed on a person with hearing loss because she learned how to speak and listen at OVV.”

Gina DeBlasio, Alumni Parent

"This is organization is amazing, and I wish everyone knew about it!”

John Caulfield, Former Board Member

“To be able to help families achieve their communication goals for their children is so rewarding. Hearing that they are able to tell their loved ones, ‘I love you,’ is the best part of my day. It fills my bucket.”

Kristen Haught, Testing Administrator

“OVV has been such a blessing in my life. I love being part of a community that is so connected and so driven to help the children succeed.”

Alysia Becker, Lead Toddler Teacher

“As educators, we felt an immediate connection with OVV’s staff. Everyone was very knowledgeable in their individualized area and extremely welcoming. Once Landon had his first Parent-Infant session, we knew OVV was the best place for him.”

Jen and Alex Hrovat, Parents

“The community and sense of family just pull you in."

Kari Weinheimer, Listening and Spoken Language Provider

“OVV really does have each kids’ best interest at heart and it shows. I have two kids who require different education plans and OVV does an amazing job of accommodating that.”

Mary Beth Turk, Parent

“They have given me and our family confidence to advocate for our son no matter how big or small the hurdle. OVV has shown us that with the right support and plan, anything is possible for Brayden.”

Katie Sharp, Parent

“Once I started working with the families and kids I knew OVV was a special place. The atmosphere was infectious. It was amazing to be a part of something that would be so impactful in the lives of these children, to be a part of their story.”

Leslie Raulie, Family Center and Parent Group Support Coordinator

“One of the greatest moments is watching the children you have seen from the beginning of their time at OVV stand up on the stage at graduation and have the confidence to tell a large audience who they are, who they love, where they will go to school, and what they want to be when they grow up. I always look out into the audience at the children’s families during graduation speeches, and the joy, pride, relief, and sense of accomplishment they have in that moment is so powerful.”

Megan Stercula, Listening and Spoken Language Provider

“The most rewarding part of my job is watching the language progress that my students make. My students work so hard, and I am always so proud of them. I also really enjoy teaching reading. It is amazing to watch a child learn to read because it opens up a whole new world for them.”

Ashley Domek, Listening and Spoken Language Provider

“Parent education sessions have been tremendously helpful. We hear from our son's teachers about what he’s working on, along with the how and why. We get suggestions about how we can continue, or supplement, those efforts at home. It was daunting at first to try to figure out our role in his speaking journey, but we’ve been given tons of helpful tools to help him progress.”

Janet Li, Parent

“The takeaway I get from working at Ohio Valley Voices is being a tiny blip in the success of the children I teach and learning of the abundance of success they have in the future. OVV students work 10,000 times harder than their hearing peers. There is not one student I am not proud of. Every day these children make strides and overcome barriers. They are the true superheroes of OVV.”

Selina Kissell, OVV Montessori Instructor

"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.”

Blair and Matt Pomeroy, Parents

“Even though we were learning, the teachers always made everything fun."

Haley Gartner, Alumni

“Ohio Valley Voices gives hope to families that their kids can have a productive, meaningful life and achieve whatever they want.”

Zamaris Geleszinski, Former Board Member

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