Listening and Spoken Language Deaf Education Graduate Training Program

a teacher and child in a classroom setting

When children in Utah who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) turn 3 years old and enter the school setting, they require instruction from professionals who understand their unique academic, linguistic, and technological needs. The Utah State Office of Education recently ranked hearing impairment as the fifth highest in the list of teacher shortages in Utah. With advances in hearing technologies (i.e., cochlear implants, hearing aids), coupled with the fact that approximately 95% of children with hearing loss are born to hearing parents, many families are choosing a listening and spoken language (LSL) approach to communication for their children who are DHH. For those families who choose spoken language, improvements in technology have resulted in dramatically improved success in communication, language acquisition, and academic skill development for educational achievement in mainstream classroom settings. As a result, more and better trained deaf education professionals are needed to meet the educational demands of this population.

DHH Endorsement for Non-Traditional Students

To address these critical shortages, the USOE grant provided funding support to the LSL Deaf Education training program to offer graduate level coursework and practicum opportunities for currently licensed special educators and speech-language pathologists in Utah to earn the DHH endorsement. The program consists of coursework, hands-on mentoring and support in the professional setting, and intensive training at a 2-week summer workshop. The endorsement can be completed in three semesters.

Professional Development Training Opportunity

a teacher and two laughing children

Many general educators, special educators, and speech-language pathologists serve children who are DHH in mainstream settings. Funds from the USOE grant also were used to develop a comprehensive online training program to provide professionals with knowledge and support in the areas of 1) the audiogram and hearing technology, 2) listening and learning strategies, 3) language and literacy, and 4) collaboration among professionals. The online modules can be completed in approximately 14 hours. Educators who complete the full training program will earn either 1 USOE professional development credit or 14 re- licensure points.

For additional information, please contact Lauri Nelson, Ph.D. via email or at 435-797-8051. Or go to the LSL website.