The Victorian Deaf Education Institute's (VDEI) Coaching and Mentoring: Auditory-Verbal Therapy (AVT) program was also a success in 2015. Five Victorian teachers of the deaf received intensive coaching and mentoring to improve their teaching of students who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) who use spoken language to communicate.
Cheryl L. Dickson delivered the first year of this Professional Learning Program (PLP) in of the course. She provided: one-to-one mentoring, convened online discussions, and analysed filmed teaching instruction to advise the participants' teaching. Associate Professor Helen Morrison from the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Texas Christian University also instructed the participants.
The participants received instruction in this PLP via synchronous webinars organised by VDEI. The mentoring also occurred online too. The PLP is based on the American AGBell Academy's Listening and Spoken Language Specialist course. Topics included:
- Early diagnosis of hearing loss in newborns, infants, toddlers, and young children followed by immediate audiologic management and AVT.
- Recommending immediate assessment and use of appropriate, state-of-the-art hearing technology to obtain maximum benefits of auditory stimulation.
- Guiding and coaching parents to help their child use hearing as the primary sensory modality to develop listening and spoken language.
- Guiding and coaching parents to become the primary facilitators of their child's listening and spoken language development through consistent participation in individualized AVT.
- Guiding and coaching parents to create environments that support listening for the acquisition of spoken language throughout the child's daily activities.
- Guiding and coaching parents to help their child integrate listening and spoken language into all aspects of their child's life.
- Guiding and coaching parents to use natural developmental patterns of audition, speech, language, cognition, and communication.
- Guiding and coaching parents to help their child self-monitor spoken language through listening.
- Administer ongoing formal and informal diagnostic assessments to develop individualized AVT treatment plans, to monitor progress and to evaluate the effectiveness of the plans for the child and family.
- Promote education in regular schools with peers without a disability and with appropriate services from early childhood onwards.
VDEI are currently organising a new three-year Coaching and Mentoring: Auditory-Verbal Therapy PLP for a new cohort in 2016.