With this fall edition of fyi, we welcome several new faces - human and one, definitely not human!
As last year - year two for me - I joined several FIRST YEARS graduates and mentors, who participated in this year's teacher training program at Thuan An Center in South Vietnam. Here, we include some of our "golden memories" from this extraordinary experience.
A Big Welcome to the Class of 2014!
Joining the FIRST YEARS Faculty
We welcome Krista Heavner (M.S., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT) who has joined Ellen Thomas this semester to co-facilitate Special Topics in Speech and Hearing: A Survey. Krista works for the NC Department of Public Instruction, Division of Exceptional Children, as a Consultant for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. This position involves working directly with NC professionals, by leading workshops on spoken language and auditory skill development and by serving as a mentor and coach.
Krista completed both undergraduate and graduate degrees from UNC-CH.
She has worked in a variety of settings, including public school; clinical
positions as an SLP and AVT on the Traumatic Brain Injury team and the
Cochlear Implant team, both teams at the University of Michigan; and as
an Auditory Education Consultant for Advanced
Bionics. Krista has presented at numerous state and local, national
and international conferences related to working with children who are
deaf and hard of hearing, and has authored and co-authored articles and
studies in related publications and journals. Welcome, Krista!
This semester welcomes another "new face" to FIRST YEARS. UNC will be ending its contract with Blackboard at the end of this year, opting instead to go with a new "learning management system"/LMS, called Sakai. Sakai is an open source application, rather than a commercial application (like Blackboard), meaning that its source code is freely available to subscribers. Mozilla Firefox is another open source program, and it is absolutely one of the best browsers around; so we expect great things from Sakai!
The changeover has been a months-long project, beginning in 2011. To introduce Sakai to our fall students, we helped create a "course game," called Sakai Trail, inspired by the educational game Oregon Trail. As players travel along the Sakai Trail, they get to practice navigating Sakai's features - to learn by playing! With a bit of imagination and quick look at our short course for an overview of our course layout - http://firstyears.org/sakai-short.htm - players can imagine Sakai's Trial Boss as Staff Info, its Trail Info as Course Info, and so forth.
For a limited time, we have set up a guest - Non-onyen
- login for those of you who want to journey the Sakai Trail.
|More Changes! Course Opportunity for
And, finally, we see another welcome change: For the first time, three of our former graduates - Lindsay Zombeck (class of 2007), Ilene Sand (class of 2006), and Julie Adams (class of 2009) - will be joining our current cohort in our LSL course. Listening & Spoken Language Development & Intervention, created after these graduates finished the certificate, expanded the training previously offered, with a focus on auditory-verbal techniques and strategies. Talent abounds in this combined group, with superb co-instructors Beth Walker and Sherri Vervelson, so we expect lots of learning!
From FIRST YEARS Reference Library
As you will see, sharing certainly will be the "theme" this issue! We begin with one example.
Denise Wray, co-facilitator with Lyn Robertson for our final certificate course, Literacy Development in Young Children with Hearing Loss, recently emailed "must reads" lists to the students. As she described how she uses the lists (3/15/12):
I explain to parents that I know how overwhelming it is to go to the library and select quality picture books for their children. I thought they needed direction with over 5,000 children's books published per year, how is one to recognize what is quality or not?Denise agreed to share the lists with our wider audience via our newsletter. Thank you, Denise!
Paying it forward: Tele-therapy Grant
In a previous edition of fyi we highlighted the efforts of Michelle Parfitt (class of 2007) to pioneer tele-therapy in Pennsylvania. Like Michelle in Pennsylvania, NC is moving forward with tele-practice. More impact FIRST YEARS is making!
The Carolina Hurricanes are a professional ice hockey team based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Two times each year, the Hurricanes Kids ĎN Community Foundation awards monetary grants to qualified organizations. FIRST YEARS Director, Kathryn Wilson, and Center for the Acquisition of Spoken language through Listening Enrichment (CASTLE) Director, Hannah Eskridge (a FIRST YEARS mentor) collaborated on a grant proposal in Spring 2012 and were awarded $25,000 to enhance the UNC-REACH Program (Reaching for Early Access for Children with Hearing Loss). UNC-REACH is a tele-therapy program designed to increase access to quality early intervention for North Carolina infants and toddlers who are deaf and hard of hearing and provide parents with the knowledge and skills needed to teach their child to listen and talk. CASTLE therapists will provide direct services to children and families and Kathryn will serve as consultant to the project.
Paying it forward: FIRST YEARS in South Vietnam
"If it is true that certain events change your life, I had full expectation that training professionals in Vietnam would be one of them. I knew training in a foreign country with a different culture and language than my own would be a challenge, but I didn't know how life-giving it would be for me as a professional." (Lillian Henderson (mentor), email, 9/7/12)Lillian's sentiments of her Vietnam experience as "life-giving" were echoed by all of this year's FIRST YEARS professionals participating in the summer-training programs sponsored by the Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss. Lillian, with 5 others from FIRST YEARS, joined a team of 18 professionals in "year three" at the Thuan An Center in South Vietnam, July 9 - August 5, 2012.
The foundation's stats are impressive, as reported by the foundation's Executive Director (and founder) Paige Stringer: "Since summer 2010, we ... have trained over 190 teachers, 220 families, and 120 medical and other professionals. We have fit 246 hearing aids on young children." (from Paige's summary of accomplishments).
summary elaborates this year's training impact.
|Below we share some faces behind the impressive stats
- some "golden memories."
Lillian Henderson (mentor)
Lillian Henderson discovered quite a few other cultural differences. As she described "several surprises" in an email (9/7/12):
One afternoon when the afternoon storms moved in, half of the class abruptly left. I was told that it was not anything I said, but that they had to bring in their wash from the clothesline. The Vietnamese also have a love of singing. Anytime an example was given with music, the whole class joined in on singing the song entirely through. Another time, as I was teaching the importance of expectations and rules for the classroom, I was promptly educated that "Uncle Ho" (Ho Chi Minh) had already written the expectations and they were posted at every school. Needless to say, I didnít ask them to write other expectations in place of Ho Chi Minh's!Becky Clem (mentor)
In her last blog entry - "Packing up....and leaving my heart" - Becky described her final day in Vietnam as "bittersweet:"
My heart is full with love and wonder for what this program has done and continues to do in 3 short years. I've fallen in love with the people of Vietnam and the children and teachers in this program.Becky's blog is full of photos and remembrances. Her entry on how the translators and teachers interact - to accomplish so much! - is especially informative.
Beck Clem (7/21/12): You say what I say and what did they say?
Ann Baumann (class of 2007)
This summer was a packed two weeks for the Vietnamese teachers. They were learning more about language, speech and listening skill development and strategies to encourage it, assessment, data keeping, one to one intervention and more - and putting it all into practice. One of the goals for the teachers in the classrooms involved developing and implementing detailed plans that integrated all aspects of a child's development in a hands-on, language-rich environment. Using a thematic approach, one of the three classrooms developed lessons around flowers. The children learned a song about flowers and to help bring that song even more meaning, the teaching team decided to make flower crowns. But where to get a large supply of flowers?? One of the Sisters knew of the plumeria trees up the street at the cemetery. Early that morning, before school started, she confessed she harvested the flowers on the sly. The result? Beautiful children made even more beautiful and a room filled with delicious scent! Now that's something to talk about! (email, 9/16/12)The impact of the program on the Vietnamese teachers?
Helen Zuganelis (class of 2005)
Kim Hamren, FIRST YEARS mentorSpeaking of hope for the future ...
Not only will the team return to Vietnam for year four, there are plans in the works for extending the services to other countries. Check out Paige's blog for some interesting reading.
Paige Stringer. Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss. Vietnam Blog
If you are interested in participating in next year's project and are
a trained professional in pediatric audiology, speech pathology, auditory-verbal
education, and/or early intervention, email Paige Stringer, Executive Director,
Update: Massachusettes Legislation
In the last issue we reported on our students' efforts in getting legislation passed in Indiana and Massachusettes. As a prime-mover, an excited Kim LaBrecque reported in an email (8/1/12):
Just in! CASLLS
Mary Smith-Johnson (class of 2007) reports (9/10/12) that the state of Minnesota will now be using CASLLS as one of the guides for working with children who have hearing loss. "I am at peace. You guys are the best. I am happy. You have no idea, hugs. Best money spent!!!" (CASLLS is covered extensively in our course on Listening & Spoken Language Development & Intervention, co-taught by Beth Walker and Sherri Vervelson.)
Just in! Erber
Faculty member Don Goldberg reports a conversation with Norman Erber about his "hierarchy:"
I had the joy of meeting with Norm Erber in Australia this past May. I had been warned that he did not like the term I (and many others) have used -- auditory hierarchy. He never set up his 4 levels (detection/ discrimination/ identification/ comprehenbsion to be a mere hierarchy. I rephrase it during my talk as LEVELS OF AUDITORY FUNCTIONING. And he likes that and I like it, too.We will all have to correct our terminology!
Names in the News
Upcoming workshops/webinars by our faculty and students
Now it's your turn!
Job changes? Interesting training opportunities? Additional certifications? New tips & tricks? Please send us your news at FIRST YEARS Webmaster.
© 2012, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill FIRST YEARS Certificate in Auditory Learning for Young Children with Hearing Loss. All rights reserved. May be reproduced in any medium for non-commercial purposes.
Publication date: September, 2012