Leadership Opportunities for Teens (LOFT)

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. Click here for a printable information sheet about LOFT.

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
    A recent unaided audiogram will be required as part of the application.
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

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)

Registration Fee
$875 per participant. This covers lodging, meals, snacks, activity fees and ground transportation from arrival to departure. The cost of travel to and from the program is the responsibility of the family.

For families who may need financial assistance, a scholarship application is available below.

Application & Deadline
The application deadline was March 5.

Due to the popularity of this program, more applications are often received than can be accommodated in a given year; submission of an application is not a guarantee for program participation. Applicants will be notified via email on March 31, 2015 whether or not they have been selected for LOFT 2015. Applicants who are not selected for this year’s program are strongly encouraged to apply in future years.

Do you have questions?
Questions may be emailed to info@agbell.org

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


LOFT 2015 Counselor Biographies

Counselors for LOFT 2015

Read More »

LOFT 2015 Sponsors and Donors

AG Bell is grateful to those who support LOFT, helping to ensure the program can continue to meet the needs of teens who are deaf and hard of hearing and use listening and spoken language.

Read More »

Quotes from past LOFT Participants and Parents

See what teens and parents had to say about LOFT 2014. Read More »