PULLMAN – The Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences (SHS) at WSU will host a professional development symposium, entitled “Possibilities for Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing,” Oct. 4-5 on the WSU Pullman campus.

Intended for parents, educators and speech-language-hearing professionals, the symposium will share best practices and explore issues relevant to meeting the needs of children with hearing loss.

Highlights of the symposium include a presentation on “Auditory Brain Development for Children with Hearing Loss” by Dr. Carol Flexer, distinguished professor of audiology at the University of Akron; panels on the “Spectrum of Communication Options,” composed of educators and practitioners from Washington and Idaho; and a panel featuring parent and student perspectives.

The symposium will bring together representatives of the various communication approaches—American Sign Language, total communication and auditory/oral options. By fostering a multidisciplinary approach, the symposium is on the cutting edge of practice.

“In providing optimal services for children who are deaf and hard of hearing, we need to promote accessibility of multiple communication options,” said Gail Chermak, SHS department chair. “The symposium will explore various ways in which this can be accomplished.
 
Historically, the proponents of these different approaches have not worked together. Thus, we have the attention of state-level officials in Washington and Idaho as we work to build bridges across programs built on different philosophical foundations.”
 
The symposium is the result of a collaborative effort with faculty in the WSU College of Education and part of a larger initiative to build the capacity of the immediate community to serve the needs of children with hearing loss. It grew out of the SHS department’s groundbreaking Oral Language Enrichment program, which creates an educational
environment rich with auditory and oral language learning opportunities for young children with hearing loss.
 
Symposium registration is offered free of charge to parents and students, but space is limited and early registration is encouraged. For professionals, registration is $75 until Sept. 25 and $85 after Sept. 25.
Continuing education credit is also available.
 
The registration form and symposium schedule may be downloaded at http://libarts.wsu.edu/speechhearing/.

For more information about the symposium, contact Ella Inglebret at
einglebret@wsu.edu or 509-335-1019.