Wednesday, September 3, 2008

United States Tennis Association to the Rescue

Deaf child helped out in school by tennis balls
To 4-year-old Luc Bordier, a tennis ball is more than a toy to share with his dog. It's also a tool to create the best possible learning environment when Luc enters kindergarten. "Luc is deaf, he was born deaf, it's a genetic thing, transmitted from his mother and I," says Robert Bordier, Luc's father. But Luc can hear, thanks to the amazing technology of a cochlear implant, which uses a microphone and transmitter. The technology works best when there's limited background noise. Hence, the addition tennis balls now on every chair and table leg in Luc's kindergarten classroom.
The goal is to reduce ambient background noise, like the scraping sound of kids moving their chairs. With tennis balls, the scraping noise is virtually eliminated. "It reduces the noise so that Luc and concentrate on hearing the teacher," Robert says. Teacher Joan Cruz at Luc's school, the Church Street Elementary School in White Plains, wrote to the USTA because of the need for the tennis balls. The association responded by quickly donating hundreds of "gently used" U.S. Open balls. With news video.

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