International speakers Dr Donald Goldberg and Dr Sharon Sandridge presented a two day workshop (31 May and 1 June 2012) looking at current trends for children from birth to five years old. These trends include current hearing technology, auditory assessment and functioning and creating an optimum listening environment.
Dr Sharon Sandridge is currently Director of Audiology Clinical Services in Cleveland as well as the Co-Director of the Tinnitus Management Clinic, and Co-Director of the Audiology Research Lab at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland in OH. Both a clinician and a published researcher, Sharon has specialised in the areas of amplification, treatment of tinnitus, electrophysiology and the identification and monitoring of children with a hearing impairment.
Sharon’s expertise and dynamic presentation engaged participants in the technical background to audiology and the diagnostic testing of infants. In working with families it is important that professionals have a good understanding of the testing and interpretation of results that families have undergone
This interactive workshop was designed to build confidence in professionals’ knowledge of the workings of the audiometric system as well as build a comprehensive understanding of the measurements currently used in diagnostic audiometry. Thorough and accurate assessment informs management of intervention and this was the basis for Sharon’s presentation.
On the second day Dr Don Goldberg applied the extensive audiological information covered in the first day to further professionals’ understanding of maximising auditory input for cochlear implant users. The importance of making each decibel count was a key message from the presentation. Particular topics covered in the morning included an exploration of positioning in therapy lessons, the use of FM and soundfield systems, using and encouraging acoustic modifications and applying professional knowledge of speech acoustics during sessions. This provided professionals with the opportunity to reflect on their own practice and to introduce or reaffirm these principles. Participants were then provided with an outline of a variety of assessment tools and resources for use with students to ensure that the development of listening skills is adequately assessed and then carefully scaffolded.
Dr Donald Goldberg is professor at Worcester College and a staff consultant at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Dr Goldberg is a world leader in the communication assessment of infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers, school-age children and adult patients who are deaf or hard of hearing, and in the auditory-based rehabilitation or parents who are recipients of cochlear implants.
Co-Author of Educational Audiology for the Limited Hearing Infant and Preschooler: An Auditory-Verbal Approach (Pollack, Goldberg, and Caleffe-Schenck, 1997), Don has authored numerous research articles and is an internationally recognised presenter in the areas of cochlear implants, auditory verbal therapy, speech language auditory assessment, educational audiology and counselling. As a former president of the AG Bell Academy in 2008, Don will also be assuming his role as president of the AG Bell association for the deaf and hard of hearing in June this year.
The feedback from the two day program was overwhelmingly positive and gave professionals a wealth of ideas to trial and develop with their students. It was certainly an example of knowledge developed through research being turned into practice.