Hearing First, a subsidiary of the Oberkotter Foundation, announced its 2024 course catalog, which features new and return courses focused on pediatric audiology and Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) best practices to improve LSL outcomes for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. 

All courses are free to attend and learners can earn CE credits from the American Academy of Audiology (AAA), AG Bell Academy, and American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). The 2024 course catalog opened for registration earlier this week.

Hearing First courses translate the latest research and evidence-based science for hearing healthcare industry professionals to apply to their practice, the organization says. Courses are led by some of the industry’s leading experts in pediatric audiology and LSL intervention, selected based on their research, experience, and expertise.

Further reading: American Academy of Pediatrics Updates Policy Statement on Hearing Risks for Children

“The Oberkotter Foundation’s mission to support families of children with hearing loss includes supporting the professionals who work with them. As a subsidiary of the foundation, Hearing First wants professionals to challenge their thinking, learn the latest research, and expand their knowledge of pediatric audiology and LSL best practices through online learning,” says Teresa Caraway, PhD, CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT, CEO of Oberkotter Foundation. “The goal is to remove barriers to the information that will improve outcomes by creating free access to relevant, research-based information. In 2024, Hearing First expanded its course offerings and increased the number of pediatric-audiology focused courses to help achieve that goal.”

Hearing First has emphasized coordinated collaborative care and the importance of a multidisciplinary team to support families. A small sample of the catalog topics includes:

  • Genetics and Childhood Hearing Loss
  • Autism and Hearing Loss
  • Imaging of the Auditory System
  • Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder
  • Best of Pediatric Audiology Literature – 2023
  • What’s New in Pediatric Audiology Research: LOCHI, OCHL, CDaCI, and Melbourne CI Research
  • Theory of Mind
  • Assessment in LSL Intervention
  • Music and Singing in LSL Intervention
  • Literacy Development in LSL Intervention
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Auditory Skill Development

Courses include live-online learning and self-study opportunities. In order to register, learners can join the Professional Learning Community for free. Professionals can grow their network through the community and get access to thousands of other hearing healthcare professionals through community forums and discussions. 

“We’ve entered a new era for pediatric audiology. Hearing healthcare professionals are hungry for evidence-based protocols to apply to their clinical practice,” says Jace Wolfe, PhD, CCC-A, sr. VP of Innovation, Oberkotter Foundation. “Hearing First has diligently designed courses at all levels for those working with children who are deaf or hard of hearing. These new pediatric audiology courses are designed to meet an intermediate to advanced learning level and provide takeaways that will help shape a new standard of care.”
A two-part genetics course kicks off the new pediatric audiology learning in the new year. This intermediate-level course offers comprehensive coverage of genetics and hearing loss. Part one focuses on the fundamentals of genetics and part two looks at the connection between genetics and auditory function in children.