This website is built to help connect deaf teens and their families and share stories about deafness, hearing aids and/or Cochlear Implants.
David Cluff – Founder of deafteens.org – David Cluff has bilateral cochlear implants. He received his first implant at the age of six due to progressive hearing loss from the CMV virus with which he was born. In 2009 Dr. Timothy Hullar, David’s cochlear implant surgeon, inspired David to build deafteens.org as his Eagle Scout Project. deafteens.org was completed in 2010 and it became a success. From 2012-2014, deafteens.org was on hold while David served a two-year church mission. Upon his return, he worked on updates for the website. Today, David is happily married and a proud father of a six-month-old boy.
How can you be a part of deafteens.org?
- We are always looking for more stories to share on our blog. To do so, visit our submit your story page. (we ask that all volunteers be within the age of 13-20 years old)
- Have a skill set that you would like to contribute to deafteens.org (web design, guest blogger, etc)? Or would you like to be part of the deafteens.org teen leadership group? Contact us today and we would love to see what we can do.
- Over the teenage years and still want to be part of deafteens.org? Volunteer as an advisor to help improve deafteens.org.
The history of deafteens.org
Besides David who has been working on the website, teens from around the world joined in to help him. David states, “We make an awesome team”. Team members included JoEllen from Tennessee, Lesley from Texas, Josh from Missouri and Lissa from United Kingdom. All of them are deaf and use cochlear implants and/or other hearing devices. David says that he could never have done it without their support. They did not only build this website together, but also formed friendships. David said he was thrilled to see that there are more deaf teens than he imagined, and the deaf teens are eager to network with other deaf teens for support.
How did they meet despite many miles between them?
It was a challenge at first according to David, but they manage to use all the resources they had including Facebook. Because David and his team wanted to have a conversation while living thousands of miles apart, they utilized Skype. David says, “The first time we had our meeting, all five of us deaf teens enjoyed some great laughs.” This team was not only a help to David but also an inspiration to him. David says “They inspired me in so many ways. I learned that when you have a goal and you’re surrounded by people that want to help, anything is possible; and we learned that with deafteens.org.”
David also received other amazing support from the St. Louis Children’s Hospital, St. Louis Deaf Teen Club, Rachel Chaikof (founder of www.cochlearimplantonline.com), Sophie’s Tales, Boy Scout Troop 864, Ms. Toby Weiss, Mr. Keith Slater and many other amazing people who help support David.