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Auditory Verbal Learning Institute

The AG Bell Academy for Listening and Spoken Language®
3417 Volta Pl, NW Washington, DC 20007

Mission: Advancing listening and talking through standards of excellence and international certification of professionals.

What is Auditory-Verbal Education

Auditory-Verbal Education focuses on teaching listening and talking to various sized instructional groups to prepare children to enter mainstream education when they have the skills to do so successfully. A Listening and Spoken Language Educator (LSLS Cert. AVEd) teaches children with hearing loss to listen and talk exclusively though listening and spoken language instruction. The LSLS Cert. AVEd is guided by the Academy's Ten Principles of LSLS Auditory-Verbal Education and adheres to a professional code.

What is the Academy?

The AG Bell Academy for Listening and Spoken Language® (the Academy) is an independently governed, subsidiary corporation of The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The Academy was established in 2005 and envisions a future where individuals and families will have qualified listening and spoken language professionals available in their immediate geographic area. The Academy is uniquely positioned to advance the revolutionary global opportunity for deaf or hard of hearing individuals to listen and talk via proven technologies and with guidance and education from certified professionals.

In order for families to recognize the goal of listening and talking for their child, there needs to be sufficient numbers of qualified professionals available to offer support to these families. The Academy, by means of international certification of professionals, strives to ensure that qualified professionals are available to all families who seek this option.

Different centers in the US and what they offer:

Bolesta Center; 7205 North Habana Ave. Tampa, Florida 33614; Phone: 813-932-1184 ; Fax: 813-932-9583;

Mission: The mission of the Bolesta Center is to lead the way in helping children with hearing loss gain the ability to listen and speak. At Bolesta, we want exactly what you want: to give your deaf or hard-of-hearing child the ability to live a normal, independent life in a hearing and speaking world.

Services: We do not teach lip-reading, sign language, or any other special education technique typically reserved for the deaf. Instead, we teach your child how to listen, using high- powered hearing aids or cochlear implants. It’s called the Auditory-Verbal approach.

Auditory-Verbal Curriculum
At Bolesta, we strive to provide a family-centered, individualized Auditory-Verbal Therapy curriculum that encompasses the guiding principles of Auditory-Verbal Therapy as set forth by the Alexander Graham Bell Association. Through this curriculum, we provide:

Auditory-Verbal Therapy Services:

·        A proven Auditory-Verbal curriculum for deaf and hard-of-hearing infants, preschoolers, and elementary students using hearing aids and/or cochlear implants

·        Bilateral cochlear implantation support for both sequential and simultaneous cochlear implant users

·        A multi-disciplinary team approach

·        Parent-focused demonstration sessions

·        Diagnostic therapy sessions with child-centered goals

·        Objective-oriented therapy based on normal stages of child development

·        A focus on development of listening, language, cognition, and speech

·        Individualized sessions with guidance and counseling to the family

Immersion Services For Families
Bolesta offers an intensive immersion program for families at our center in Tampa, Florida. During the week-long program, the parents or caregiver, child, therapist and other team members work together to develop a strong foundation for long-term learning.

After the initial immersion program, ongoing support and mentoring services are offered and to meet the individual needs of each family. Those services may include telephone support, internet based support, distance learning, and further on-site services. In addition to supporting the family, Bolesta also provides training and support for local professionals that the parents may be working with at home.

The Immersion Program is not viewed as an end in itself, but as the starting point toward maximizing the hearing and speech potential of each child. The families and staff at Bolesta are available to support each family collectively and in the community in which they live.

Program Components:

·        Auditory-Verbal Therapy: Therapy is conducted for 1–1 ½ hours each day with the child and parent. The initial sessions of therapy are for baseline testing and evaluation to provide the therapists and the parents with information about the child’s auditory, speech, and language skills. The remaining therapy sessions are used to encourage both the child and the parents to understand and embrace an Auditory-Verbal approach to listening and speech.

·        Therapy Observation: Families are provided with opportunities to observe other children and parents in therapy. These observations are reviewed by, and with, a therapist to assist the family in understanding the unique goals and practices of each session.

·        Parent Mentoring: A current Bolesta parent, or parents, will meet with the family for at least one hour to discuss their own child’s case and provide other information the family may be interested in. This interaction gives the family an opportunity to meet other parents of hearing-impaired children and feel connected to the program for long-term support. One-on-one time with other Bolesta families often helps the parents and caregiver better understand what lies ahead. They can see, first-hand, how other children with similar hearing losses and their parents are succeeding with listening, language, and communication in a hearing world.

·        Parent Resource Kit: Each family receives the Listen Little Star family activity kit for parents of infants from the Auditory-Verbal Learning Institute, a Hearing is Believing CD-ROM, and the book 50 Frequently Asked Questions About Auditory Verbal Therapy.

·        Audiology: All children participating in the Immersion Program are provided with an audiologic evaluation. Exceptions are made if a recent audiological work-up has been completed with appropriate documentation. This provides the therapists with information regarding the child’s level of hearing loss. Families are counseled as to the results of the evaluation and provided with amplification information and support as needed.

·        Sensory Integration and Oral Motor Screening and Therapy: Sensory Integration is defined as the ability to organize sensory information for use in daily life. It is estimated that at least 60% of children with hearing impairments have some form of sensory integration dysfunction, which may affect balance, auditory sequential memory, speech, eating, fine and gross motor skills, sensitivity to touch and/or several other areas. An oral motor screening will assist in identifying individual needs in a child that may affect articulation development. Exceptions are made if a recent SI and/or OM screening has been completed with appropriate documentation. For those identified as needing Oral Motor and Speech Therapy, services can be provided by our Licensed Speech Language Pathologist.

Parent support Program

Parent support allows parents of children with hearing loss to share the resources, triumphs, challenges, and feelings that are unique to families of children with hearing loss. During their journey, parents slowly gain a sense of self-esteem and hope for the future of their children.

Bolesta's Parent Support Program helps parents who have or may have a deaf or hard-of-hearing child. Activities are open to all parents of a deaf child, not just Bolesta clients. Activities include Parent Support Meetings, an Expert Speakers Series, a Reference Library, Parent Communications, a Parent Mentoring Group, Parent Events, and a Referral Network.

Bolesta’s Parent Mentoring Group is the service parents find most valuable of all. While information and advice from professionals is important, talking to someone who really understands what you’re going through is invaluable. Parents are assigned a mentor from a list of mentors, all who will receive training. Mentors are asked to call their parent at least once a month. A log is kept of interactions. Parent mentors meet regularly to encourage camaraderie, to facilitate communication, and to give direction to the program based on the experiences parents are undergoing. This keeps the program timely and relevant.

Annual Parent Events are a time for parents and kids to just have fun for a change! Last year, families gathered at Lowry Park to enjoy the park, hamburgers and hotdogs, crafts, and lots of fun. Free entry to the zoo was included. While lots of valuable networking happens at Parent Events, the power of relaxing and playing is not underestimated.

Parent Support Meetings are held at least quarterly and open to all Bolesta parents and the general public. A speaker of interest is engaged for each meeting and meetings include an open question and answer forum. Topics can include behavior management of a deaf child, integrating Auditory-Verbal techniques into daily life, or stress management for parents. Free childcare and dinner are provided to encourage participation. Meetings are held in various areas around the Bay Area to facilitate ability to get to the meeting.

Bolesta’s Expert Speakers Series is offered every September and March to the public. A world-famous Auditory-Verbal therapist is engaged to see and evaluate children’s progress with learning spoken language, to help train professionals so even more children can receive services, to host a round-table luncheon with parents to discuss a topic of interest, and to lecture on subjects that parents need to know. Direct services to children and parents, such as evaluation services and the parent’s roundtable lunch, are offered free of charge.

The Reference Library includes a multitude of books, magazines, CD-ROMs, videos, pamphlets, research papers, toys, Auditory-Verbal play kits, and other items that parents can check out for home use. Or, if a parent desires, they are welcome to browse our materials in our waiting room. All items are lent free of charge and on the honor system.

Frequent Parent Communications are designed to inform parents of what is happening both at Bolesta and in the community at large that may apply or help them as they work to make the right decisions for their child. Communications can take the form of an email blast, press releases, mailings, letters, invitations, or phone calls, all planned to keep parents in-the-know.

Bolesta’s Referral Network is the result of community collaborations and knowledge of the community. We strive to help parents find all the resources, services, and information available to them. It can mean a therapist visits a preschool to discuss how children learn best with their cochlear implant; makes a phone call to find close-by lodging for parents who need to travel for services; or researches needed conference or seminar scholarship opportunities for parents.

Natural Communication, Inc.
P.O.Box 36412  
Canton, OH  44708

Natural Communication, Inc. (NCI) -- a nonprofit organization in Northeast Ohio -- is defined by its purpose: to benefit children who are deaf or hard of hearing through support, information, and encouragement to their parents and families. On a regular basis, NCI members -- the parents and families of children with hearing loss -- meet to share information and experiences. NCI endorses teaching and learning philosophies for children who are deaf or hard of hearing that maximize their potential to develop amplified hearing and spoken language. While this is NCI's official definition, we do so much more for the families who choose to become members.

Most children who are hearing impaired have the ability to develop speech and language to communicate in a "natural" manner. The auditory-verbal approach for developing speech and language is endorsed by NCI as the first option for teaching children who are hearing impaired to communicate through speech and language.

California Ear Institute:

Palo Alto Office - Headquarters1900 University Avenue Suite 101 E. Palo Alto, CA 94303
Phone: (650) 494-1000

San Ramon Office
5801 Norris Canyon Road Suite 200 San Ramon, CA 94583
Phone: (925) 830-9116
Fax: (925) 866-1699

Santa Rosa Office196 Sotoyome Street Santa Rosa, CA 95405
Phone: (707) 528-0565
Fax: (707) 528-6403
Mission: Founded in 1968 as the first practice to be dedicated solely to Hearing Health care in the United States, The California Ear Institute has provided more than a quarter of a million visits for patients with Surgical, Medical, Hearing Aid, Cochlear Implant, Facial Nerve Disorder and Cranial Base Disorder needs. CEI is Northern California's premier site for treatment of ear related disorders and is highly ranked among the world's Centers of Excellence specializing in hearing and balance related disorders. The Institute is famous as a site of referral for patients from whom treatment has not turned out as expected – particularly those who require second opinions and/or revision surgical procedures.