Last May, Ayala (Elaine) Matlow Tal-El won honorable mention in the Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, in recognition of her accomplishments on behalf of children with hearing loss.Tal-El is founding director of AV Israel. “AV” stands for auditory-verbal, a parent-oriented approach that encourages communication through listening and talking, rather than sign language, for children with hearing aids or cochlear implants. Children raised in this way – like Tal-El’s twin daughters – are mainstreamed in school and in society. Both girls served in the IDF – Dana in the air force and Tamar as a teacher-soldier.In celebration of 20 years since Tal-El successfully imported this North American methodology, AV Israel held a gala fund-raiser at the Jerusalem Theater on November 3 featuring a performance by dance troupe Mayumana. AV Israel “alumni” of all ages – deaf and hearing-impaired children who grew up with the AV approach – served as hosts, and Canadian Ambassador Vivian Bercovici relayed greetings.