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UNC-Chapel Hill Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences
 

Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Girl with cochlear implant

Since 2004, the FIRST YEARS training program, offered by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in partnership with The AG Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and funded by the Oberkotter Foundation, has provided an intensive certificate program for professionals providing early intervention services for children (0-5) who are deaf or hard of hearing and who are learning listening and spoken language. FIRST YEARS was among the first professional learning programs to provide a purely distance model. Through FIRST YEARS, approximately 100 professionals have had the opportunity to engage in an online community of practice, interact with thought leaders in the field, and receive individualized mentoring to improve their practice.

While the FIRST YEARS program will no longer be offered after May 30, 2014, the Oberkotter Foundation will launch a new national professional learning center in spring 2015 that builds on and enhances the learning experiences previously provided through FIRST YEARS. The new learning center will deliver a comprehensive system of professional preparation and ongoing learning and support for professionals working with or on behalf of young children 0 – 5 who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families. We invite all professionals interested in working with children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families to participate in the new learning center to continue their learning journey and to strengthen and support the professional community network that has formed.

For more information about the Oberkotter Foundation’s new professional learning initiative and about how you can participate in the new center, visit www.oberkotterfoundation.org. We look forward to building our professional learning community with you to support all children who are deaf or hard of hearing in reaching their full potential.
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Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of HearingUNC School of Medicine Division of Speech and Hearing Science

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