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REGISTRATION OPEN Meeting the Auditory, Speech, and Language Needs of School Age Children with Hearing Loss
SEPTEMBER 28, 2017 – 8:30-3:00 – Capitol Plaza, Montpelier, VT
Speakers: Mary Kay Therres and Gina Greco
Target Audience: Speech and Hearing Professionals
MaryKay Therres is a Speech-Language Pathologist and Auditory-Verbal Therapist who has over 20 years of experience working with children who have a cochlear implant and/or hearing aid(s). She co-authored “AuSpLan: A Manual for Professionals Working with Children who have a Cochlear Implant or Amplification”. She also co-developed and co-instructed the Professional Preparation in Cochlear Implants program. The AuSpLan will be provided with registration.
$125, Registration Fee, includes refreshments, lunch and a copy of AuSpLan Developed by Adeline McClatchie and MaryKay Therres.
Provides a short discussion on cochlear implant candidacy and reviews educational options and support services. This book details an auditory development hierarchy, speech production hierarchy and expressive language hierarchy. For each of the levels of the hierarchies, it provides specific goals, examples, classroom activities and mastery. Timelines of acquisition are also included to assist in determining if appropriate progress is being made.
8:30: Registration and parking pass Coffee and tea provided
This half-day presentation will outline auditory goals to set for young children with hearing loss. It will discuss the parent’s role in terms of goals and strategies to use with their child to facilitate development of listening and spoken communication. It will also cover resources that identify skills that should be acquired and how to monitor this for parents and children. Hands-on activities will be included throughout.
Learner Objectives: Participants will be able to
1.) describe at least five auditory goals appropriate for young children.
2.) identify at least three goals to set when coaching parents.
3.) identify at least three auditory strategies to use with young children to facilitate communication.
4.) describe two resources that may be used to monitor children’s acquisition of communication.
Instructor: MaryKay Therres is a Speech-Language Pathologist and Auditory-Verbal Therapist who has over 20 years of experience working with children who have a cochlear implant and/or hearing aid(s). She co-authored “AuSpLan: A Manual for Professionals Working with Children who have a Cochlear Implant or Amplification”.
Families and high school youth are invited to attend one of four “listening sessions” facilitated by Vermont Family Network (VFN) Family Support Consultants.
VocRehab and VFN have partnered to host “listening sessions” throughout the state to gather information on how the needs of families and youth with disabilities are being met as they look towards transitioning out of high school to further education, training and/or employment.
Listening Sessions will be held:
in St. Albans on March 22nd
in Williston on March 28th
in Newport on March 29th
in Rutland on March 30th
Listening session groups may consist of only parents, only youth, or mixed parent/youth groups.
A $50.00 stipend is available for each participant and food will be served during these evening sessions.
The information gathered at the listening sessions will be used to develop VocRehab’s 2017 Needs Assessment and help guide future planning efforts.
Send any questions to Martha.email@example.com or call 1-800-800-4005 x228.
NEN recently sent out our Winter 2017 Newsletter with the following updates and announcements:
We are carrying the Vermont Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program forward in 2017 with a clear mission and purpose – to empower children through language development and access to communication.
Building our Capacity
In addition to our full team of consultants, parent advisors, and sign support staff, we have now hired three sign language interpreters to provide child-specific interpretation services in schools as designated.
Hearing Assistive Technology
We are piloting a rental program that allows schools to pay for classroom HAT equipment over a three- or four-year time period.
Our program includes services such as selection, ordering, fitting, verification, and troubleshooting, plus loaners, as needed.
Please contact Susan Kimmerly if you want to explore this service for your school this spring or next school year.
Updates to our Website
We have added a new Info for Schools Page with helpful references for educators working with deaf and hard of hearing students.
On our blog, you will find news updates, articles from our staff, and reports on the Vermont Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind Advisory Council.
We are happy to once again sponsor this fun, outdoor event for deaf and hard of hearing students at Lotus Lake Camp in Williamstown. Transportation is provided for students from all over Vermont. Check out our blog post to find out more.
The Vermont Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind Advisory Council submitted a report of its findings and recommendations to the legislature on January 13, 2017.
As required by the legislation passed last year, the council’s report went to the Senate and House Committees on Education, the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare, the House Committee on Human Services and the Governor.
The report includes a list with the names of the twenty-one current members of the council and the representative role served by each member.
The Advisory Council’s report stated as follows:
“As its first order of business, the council crafted and adopted the following mission statement:
The mission of The Vermont Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deaf/Blind Advisory Council is to improve the lives of all Vermonters who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing or Deaf/Blind by recommending policy that promotes diversity, equality, awareness and access.
Prior to the passing of Bill S-66, four working groups, or sub-committees, were established (1) birth to 3 years of age, (2) school age (3 to 21 years of age); (3) adults, and (4) seniors.
Each sub-committee completed a gap analysis in order to identify the strengths, challenges and opportunities for children and adults who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deaf/Blind. The sub-committees are continuing their work and currently identifying two key areas in each age group for recommendation to the full Council.
Based on those recommendations, the council will be developing a strategic plan at the March meeting with short, mid and long term goals; it is our hope to meet with you at that time to review the strategic plan and solicit your input in order to finalize that plan.
The work over the next year will position the Council to make recommendations that will shape quality improvement initiatives and policy implementation across the state.
One of the themes across all age groups is the need for a single point of entry for services for Deaf, Hard of Hearing and DeafBlind children and adults.
With the closing of the Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Vermont lost its most visible and available resource for the entire Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deaf Blind community. Forty-one states have addressed the issue by establishing a Commission for Deaf, Hard of Hearing and DeafBlind.
We intend to explore the efficacy of that structure for Vermont and to report on our findings. In the interim, we will establish and communicate broadly the current available network of providers to address needs for individuals and families across the lifespan.
Our council looks forward to working collaboratively in moving the needle forward and improving services for children, adults and seniors who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deaf/Blind.”
A copy of the D/HH/DB Advisory Council’s report can be downloaded here.
One of our jobs as Consultants for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is to help students listen and learn in the classroom.
Classroom environments are typically noisy, and noise can make it difficult for any child to access auditory information.
Classroom noise can include any auditory disturbance that interferes with what a person wants and/or needs to hear. This includes noise from outside of the building, noise from within the building, and noise from within the classroom.
Auditory information is defined as any information that is intended to be heard. This often includes teacher instruction, peer comments and questions, information from digital media, and overhead announcements.
A signal to noise ratio (SNR), is the comparison of the measured loudness of the auditory information (signal) to the loudness of the noise. SNR is a significant factor in determining the ability to understand speech.
Distance between the listener and speaker needs to be considered when discussing loudness of a signal, because the level of a signal’s loudness decreases over distance.
Also, distance needs to be considered when discussing the effectiveness of hearing aid microphones. Hearing aid microphones are most effective for signals and noise within 6 feet of the microphone.
So, how can we help students overcome the challenges of listening in noise and at a distance?
We have found that using appropriate communication and listening strategies such as getting closer, moving away from noise, and watching the speaker can reduce the challenges of listening in a difficult situation.
Additionally, using hearing assistive technology can also make listening easier for students. We often recommend hearing assistive technology in the classroom to overcome these challenges.
Hearing assistive technology is commonly found in classrooms, and this is especially true for classrooms that have students with diagnosed hearing loss or (Central) Auditory Processing Disorder.
Hearing assistive technology helps listeners access communication by improving the signal to noise ratio, which mitigates the effects of listening in noise, at a distance, and in reverberation.
Many classrooms in Vermont are using hearing assistive technology – often referred to as an FM (frequency modulated) or DM (digital modulated) system.
FM and DM systems are comprised of a teacher-worn transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter is a microphone that wirelessly transmits a signal (teacher’s voice, digital audio) to a receiver. The receiver may be worn at ear level by the student, or can be a classroom soundfield speaker.
Here is an example of a hearing aid set up for FM:
The most important difference between FM and DM systems is that DM systems have advanced dynamic behavior leading to improved speech recognition in noise when compared to FM systems.
A Phonak Field Study News edition, “Roger for Hearing Instruments” reports results from a study by Dr. Linda Thibodeau (2013) that revealed there was a 35% to 55% improvement in speech recognition in noise when compared to dynamic and traditional FM systems.
When a decision has been made for a school to order hearing assistive hearing technology, then the school will need to ensure that the system is verified by an audiologist. Verification ensures that the equipment is functioning properly and that there is not too much or too little gain.
Verification Guidelines for FM equipment have been published by the American Speech and Hearing Association and by the American Academy of Audiology. FM systems need to be verified anytime a receiver or transmitter is replaced. Also, it is recommended that verification happen annually.
Pictured on the right is DM Equipment Verification.
A hearing aid, with the Roger receiver attached, is connected to the test system and placed inside the test box. The screen shows the measured output from the hearing aid and compares the output to the DM signal.
Currently, schools in Vermont can have FM/DM equipment verified at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, University of Vermont, and at Rutland Regional Medical Center.
Nine East Network’s growing team of audiologists would like to offer FM equipment verification to schools in the future. We are currently working on developing company protocols so that we can conduct FM equipment verification as an additional service to Vermont’s schools and Deaf and hard of hearing students.
Check back on the Nine East Network blog for more information and future updates about the Vermont Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program!
Twenty-one members have now been officially appointed. There is still one vacancy on the Advisory Council from school superintendants.
The official members of the Vermont D/HH/DB Advisory Council are:
Linda Hazard (Chair)
Bill Hudson (Vice Chair)
Susan Kimmerly (Nine East Network Director)
AJ Van Tassel
The Advisory Council will be putting forward a report to the Legislature on its progress by January 31, 2017.
Nine East Network will post minutes and reports from the November 15, 2016 meeting as soon as they are available.
The next meeting of the Vermont D/HH/DB Advisory Council is scheduled for January 10, 2017.