The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell) has launched the Listening and Spoken Language Knowledge Center, an Internet resource for parents of children with hearing loss, individuals with hearing loss, and professionals who serve them.
The content on the Knowledge Center will be focused on guiding parents through the stages that their children will experience as they grow up with hearing loss. At launch, content will focus on new parents who have children from birth to 4-years old, who may have just received a diagnosis of hearing loss. The Website will also include tips and strategies, downloadable checklists and tools, information about hearing loss and listening and spoken language, as well as captioned videos and support letters from real parents.
Parents often feel a sense of crisis after learning that their child did not pass a newborn hearing screening or is identified with a hearing loss. Through audiovisual content, the Knowledge Center will show parents that children with hearing loss are still able to listen, talk, demonstrate communication skills, and, in short, learn and thrive in the mainstream.
In addition, a directory will offer a variety of listening and spoken language resources in their area, including programs and organizations, products, services, and professionals with the expertise to assist their child.
For professionals, a high level of content and user-friendly material will be available, such as checklists, videos, interactive guides, and step-by-step strategies to help guide new professionals and provide new tools for existing ones. The site promotes evidence-based practice with new research in the field.
AG Bell partnered with The Helen Beebe Speech and Hearing Center through a grant to fund the development of the Knowledge Center and will have a special section devoted to the history and influence of Helen Beebe, author and developer of the auditory-verbal approach to speech therapy for those with hearing loss.