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Local author describes silent world

Boy, dog bond through hearing loss in new book

Dec. 11, 2012

"Forever Friends" is a children's book that teaches compassion for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Local author Allison Schley was inspired to write her children's book "Forever Friends" after 20 years of working in the hearing loss field.

"Life in silence can be hard on both dogs and people," said Schley. "Many look down on people or dogs who are different."

This book highlights the discovery of a wonderful friendship between a boy and a dog who both have hearing loss.

Collin Richter, a junior at Waukesha North High School illustrated the book. Richter dedicated his work to his sister, Becca Richter, a local singer/songwriter who has had a partial hearing loss since birth.

A book signing event will be 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Waukesha Humane Animal Welfare Society, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Come meet and greet the author, illustrator and two characters from the book, Megan and Dexter the dog. For more information, please visit http://www.2foreverfriends.com/

Schley lives in Waukesha with her husband, Bill, two children, Megan and Zach, four cats and her dog, Dexter. She grew up in Ohio and attended Beachwood Schools. It is there she learned to use sign language and befriended children with hearing loss. These friendships led her on a journey and to a lifelong passion to work with children with hearing loss.

She has worked in deaf education for 20 years and founded Communication Connections, Inc. a nonprofit providing early intervention for families with hearing loss.

When she isn't working, Allison can be found enjoying time with family, taking walks with Dexter or singing karaoke.

Richter has sold his artwork through the Sturgeon Bay Maritime Museum. He's been a commissioned portrait artist and has won several art contests including the Elks Lodge poster contest, Red Vines art contest and Channel 10/36 PBS art contest.

Richter is the varsity soccer goalkeeper at North. He was named the 2012 MVP and received an All-Conference Honorable Mention. He plays trombone for the AAAA State Champion Northstar Marching Band, is involved in the Student Ministry Team at Elmbrook Church, and is a member of the Waukesha PD Explorer Post.

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