Introducing Lane of Inquiry

As co-founder of Hear See Hope Foundation, I wanted to introduce you to my new non-profit organization called Lane of Inquiry. Hear See Hope Foundation is sponsoring this non-profit for their 501(c)3 status.
Lane of Inquiry’s mission is: To serve the deafblind community through expanding and bringing to practice family educational research specific to deafblindness.
In 2004, Todd and I started Hear See Hope to raise money for a cure for Usher syndrome, when our youngest son, Conner was diagnosed. Since 2004 Hear See Hope has raised over 2 million dollars for a cure, thanks to your support. We are closer than ever before to that cure but we still aren’t quite there yet. We have more work to do.
Along the way, you many have noticed there were years where we did less fundraising for Hear See Hope, like the past two years. Those were years where we were focused on our family, often when we were dealing with the day to day struggles of Usher syndrome.
One of those those struggles has been to ensure Conner and Dalton, our children who are deafblind due to Usher syndrome, had the educational supports they needed at school. This is why I went back to get my PhD in special education – to find ways to help children like our boys, Dalton and Conner.
The idea for this non profit organization came to me in 2020. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I had time to reflect. I realized it was time to follow my passion – to more intentionally conduct research that could improve outcomes for children who are deafblind and to relate that research to my experience as a parent.
Why deafblindness and not just Usher syndrome? What I now know is that Usher syndrome is rare but so is deafblindness, which is the cause for a lot of the school struggles. Because it is rare, there is rarely someone familiar with deafblindness in a school or district. Each child who is deafblind, regardless of the reason for their deafblindness, has unique needs. Every parent, regardless of the diagnosis, struggles in similar ways to work with IEP teams to ensure the team understands those unique needs, that understands that a one size fits all approach won’t work.
Thank you to those who have supported Todd and I along our journey. As we launched Hear See Hope we needed you all, and we continue to value your support today. Hear See Hope will continue to raise money for a cure for Usher syndrome. And, Lane of Inquiry will help families ensure deafblind children have the educational support they need. These are both critical needs for the well being of those who are living with Usher syndrome.
I can’t do this alone. Please reach out to offer words of support or if you have the time or financial resources, offer to help.
I know this is my path. Being a parent of children with Usher syndrome can feel isolating at times. I am excited to be able to help families like mine and the educators who support them – to share my research and personal experiences.
Please watch my video sharing more about my personal experiences and my reasons behind starting Lane of Inquiry. Please follow me on social media and help me get the word out. And, please sign up for Lane of Inquiry’s quarterly newsletter.
Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. – Helen Keller
Lane McKittrick

January 2021 Hear See Hope Update

Happy New Year. We hope you and your families and friends are staying safe and healthy during these uncertain times. What a roller coaster we’ve all been on.

Due to COVID, we have been spending time with our kids – thankful for the opportunity to have all six of us home together. So, we’ve been off the grid for awhile.

During this time, however, we reflect on all that we’ve been able to accomplish since we started Hear See Hope in 2004, because of all of you. There is much to be hopeful for in terms of research.

We are looking forward to when we can be together in person again! In 2018, Todd and other board members reached the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro. We have video footage of that trip we want to share. We’ve also been keeping up to date with all the recent advances in Usher syndrome research and have more hope than ever. We can’t wait to share these research updates in person.

But, more importantly we are looking forward to getting together in person to just be together – to celebrate where we’ve come, where we are now, and where we will go.

Conner is graduating from Rochester Institute of Technology this May. He’s majoring in Political Science with a minor in Philosophy. We don’t yet know what the future holds for him yet but we are beyond proud. In 2004, when we started Hear See Hope, he was just five years old and now he’s graduating college. And, Dalton is now a middle schooler. It’s hard to believe.

We wouldn’t be this close to a cure without your past and current support. So, thank you!

Stay well and safe and we hope to see you all soon. We’ll stay in touch.

Todd and Lane McKittrick