On 11 and 12 August 2011, the Victorian Deaf Education Institute, in collaboration with the Renwick Centre, hosted a compelling two day workshop presented by Dr Teresa Caraway, Founder and President of Learning Innovation Associates, LLC, a global company dedicated to excellence in early intervention through professional learning and mentorship.
Held at the Jasper Hotel & Conference Centre on Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, Dr Caraway explored two timely topics: engaging parents of deaf and hard of hearing children in the early intervention process; and facilitating Theory of Mind development and conversational competency in children with hearing loss.
These two days opened a world of possibilities. The first day focused on the exploration of adult learning and preferred styles of learning used by parents and colleagues. The growing awareness of different learning styles enabled participants to reflect on these differences in their interactions with others. The second day explored the Theory of the Mind and the implications for thinking and language skills. Theory of Mind relates to a person’s innate ability to sense the thoughts and feelings of another, a social reasoning ability critical to developing conversational abilities in deaf and hard of hearing children.
Over two engaging days, Teresa took professional learning to new heights by incorporating best practices in adult learning. By actively involving participants in the learning process, Teresa ensured each participant obtained the best opportunity to integrate their learning into their knowledge base.
A Certified Auditory-Verbal Therapist, Dr. Caraway previously served as the founding President of the AG Bell Academy for Listening and Spoken Language and as Director of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, AG Bell Academy for Listening and Spoken Language, and Auditory-Verbal International (AVI). Dr. Caraway is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Centre, an international consultant, and skilful workshop presenter on auditory-verbal practice.
Both sessions used video excerpts and role playing to provide insights into working with adults in teaching and therapy sessions; highlighted strategies to promote greater parent involvement; and demonstrated the use of children’s literature to encourage children to become engaging conversationalists.