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My 5-year-old son Ryder was born with hearing loss and, until he was 4 years old, he could only hear about 50% of sound. Many people don’t realize how common hearing loss is among children — about two or three of out every 1,000 children born. Another thing many people don’t realize: Hearing care is expensive and is not financially feasible for everyone.

For us, it was not covered by insurance and would have cost thousands of dollars to get Ryder the help he needed. Thankfully, the Perryville Miracle-Ear provided Ryder with a much-needed set of hearing aids through the Miracle-Ear Foundation.

Sadly, our story is the exception, not the rule, when it comes to affording hearing aids. We were lucky to find the Miracle-Ear Foundation and receive some help. But for so many Missourians, especially those of us who live in rural parts of the state, this is not the case.

For Missouri’s deaf and hard of hearing community, this is a huge milestone. The law is the much-needed help for Missourians that the Miracle-Ear Foundation was for us.

Our journey to help Ryder hear has not been an easy one. And it’s a journey I know we will not be the last to take. Thanks to this new law, children and adults across Missouri will finally have the opportunity to experience the life-changing gift of sound.

Carrie Schlotter • Perryville, Mo.