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Leadership Opportunities for Teens (LOFT)

LOFT 2012 Junior EricLOFT 2010 Group CircleLOFT 2013 Emily Julia

About LOFT

LOFT is for high school students who are deaf and hard of hearing and use listening and spoken language and their primary mode of communication. This four-day sleep-away program is designed for participants to develop or strengthen skills in individual leadership, teamwork, group dynamics, public speaking, and self-advocacy. The program provides a supportive and structured environment in which participants increase their self confidence and understanding of their own strengths and abilities through activities designed to challenge them. LOFT builds connections, respect and camaraderie among teens who share a common bond. This is a great opportunity for high school and college-bound teens interested in an enlightening and confidence-building experience away from home with their peers.

Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided during classroom sessions. LOFT counselors are AG Bell members who are adults living with hearing loss. LOFT is designed for high school students with hearing loss.

In order to be eligible for this program, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

  • The teen must have a pre-lingual bilateral hearing loss in the mild to profound range or a pre-lingual unilateral hearing loss in the moderate to profound range.
Degree of Hearing Loss Hearing Loss range
Moderate 41 to 55 dB
Moderately severe 56 to 70  dB
Severe 71 to 90 dB
Profound 91+ dB
  • Listening and spoken language must be the teen’s primary mode of communication.
  • At the time of submitting the application, the teen must be in high school.

LOFT 2015 

Location & Dates
Two sessions of LOFT are being planned; each session can accommodate 20 teens. Holding both sessions is dependent upon the number of applications and funding.
    Session 1: July 26-30, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia (Washington DC area)
    Session 2: August 1-5, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia (Washington DC area)

Application & Deadline
The application and additional information will be available on this web page in December 2014. Please check back at that time.

To Learn More

These articles will help you to learn more about the LOFT program and its impact.
    LOFT 2011: Changing Lives, One Teen at a Time (pdf) 
    LOFTees: Where are They Now? (pdf)
    Ken Levinson: The LOFT Counselor Perspective

Do you have questions?
Please send an email to Wendy Will, youth and family programs manager, with any questions you have about the program or the application.