Ryan is a remarkable young advocate for individuals with hearing loss.
Ryan’s older sister, Regan, was born with severe-profound bilateral hearing loss. Growing up alongside each other, Ryan witnessed the many social and emotional challenges Regan was faced with because of her hearing loss. Ryan then learned that many hearing impaired children, like her sister, experience social isolation and bullying twice as much as the general population.
Knowing this information and seeing her own sister’s experiences, Ryan was motivated to make a difference. She then founded Hippkids (Hearing Impaired Pen Pals) at just 14 years old! Hippkids helps develop communication and literacy in hearing impaired children and teens. In creating this program, Ryan has formed a supported community by connecting children and teens in similar circumstances, provided mentors to help those with hearing loss navigate through challenging social situations, and empowered children and teens to advocate for themselves and their rights. Currently, Ryan has paired over 200 children and teens from over 9 different countries!
Ryan didn’t just stop there either! She also works to make a change through policy. Ryan’s lobbying efforts have brought her to Capitol Hill to advocate for legislation. This activism is part of a larger national movement to help all children have access to technology integral to hearing.
HearStrong is so grateful to have ambassadors like Ryan who share our same values!