WHAT: American Cochlear Implant (ACI) Alliance announced that it was awarded a grant by Oberkotter Foundation to update the seminal Project HOPE study published in 2000 by Mohr, et al. This work has been a central component of public policy discussions on pediatric deafness for two decades. ACI Alliance Board of Directors Chair Meredith Holcomb, AuD said, “We recognized the need to update the earlier work and evaluate the effect of much earlier access to cochlear implants and new models of language learning that emphasize the key role of families in teaching deaf children to listen and talk.”

APPROACH: The ACI Alliance Research Committee, chaired by Michael Hoa MD, assembled a study research team skilled in the management of complex, longitudinal datasets. He said, “We are confident that this group, led by PI Ivette Cejas, PhD, and Co-PI Alexandra Quittner, PhD, has the experience and expertise to utilize data from the long-running Childhood Deafness after Cochlear Implantation (CDaCI) across 18 years of study to update prior work to assess both the cost burden of severe-to-profound
hearing loss and the cost benefit of early cochlear implantation.”

WHY THIS STUDY IS IMPORTANT: Newborn hearing screening and advanced hearing technology provides extraordinary life opportunities for deaf children. Executive Director Donna Sorkin said: “When I first began work in this field in 1993, hearing loss in children was diagnosed at 2 years and an early cochlear implant in a child born deaf was age 3. The opportunity is now in place but the guidance and information provided to parents has not sufficiently advanced.” ACI Alliance is grateful to Oberkotter Foundation for providing support for this critical study that will provide important research outcomes for everyone involved in supporting families of deaf and hard of hearing children.

WHO: The American Cochlear Implant Alliance (www.acialliance.org) is a not-for-profit membership organization created with the purpose of eliminating barriers to cochlear implantation by sponsoring research, driving heightened awareness, and advocating for improved access to cochlear implants for patients of all ages across the US. ACI Alliance members are clinicians, scientists, educators, and others on cochlear implant teams as well as parent and consumer advocates. ACI Alliance sponsors an annual clinical research conference that provides opportunities for physicians and other clinicians, scientists, educators, and others to share information and discuss future research direction.

Source: ACI Alliance