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Clerc Center and Boston Children’s Hospital announce collaboration

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The Clerc Center is pleased to collaborate with Boston Children's Hospital (BCH) on two projects. The first is the development of a Web-based product to support early language acquisition in deaf and hard of hearing children and the second is to update guidelines on programming and placement options for students with cochlear implants.

"From the Clerc Center's perspective, we want to emphasize in our collaborative partnerships that we value the whole child and do not view children through a disability lens," said Clerc Center project manager  Dr. Mary Ann Kinsella-Meier. "We have found through experience that once a professional starts to focus on what the child is doing and can do, it changes the dynamic. Both professionals and parents start to take a more positive, holistic approach with the child."

Project One: Web-based product on early language acquisition

The Clerc Center will work with Dr. Terrell Clark, director of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program at BCH, on developing a Web-based product for early intervention providers, educators of deaf children, early childhood specialists and allied professionals, and parents and other caregivers.

 "This exciting collaboration will help us expand distribution of information that is crucial for promoting early language acquisition among young children who are deaf or hard of hearing.  We recognize that through posting high quality, on-line products, our information sharing will expand considerably beyond our traditional, clinical and regional contacts," said Dr. Clark.

This product is expected to release in 2013 on both the Clerc Center and BCH websites and will be supplemented by downloadable materials that are searchable. For maximum accessibility, this product will be available in both American Sign Language and spoken English, and closed captions will be offered.

Project Two: Guidelines for programming and placement options for children with cochlear implants

A multidisciplinary group of professionals will convene to update Children with Cochlear Implants Who Sign: Guidelines for Transitioning to Oral Education or a Mainstream Setting, a document drafted 10 years ago that considered only factors in transitioning towards oral/aural methods of language access. The revised guidelines will also consider factors for transitioning to a signing or visually supportive communication approach.

"The guidelines are not an assessment tool," said Kinsella-Meir. "They are more designed for how to get professionals and parents together to discuss how a child accesses classroom education." The aim is to create a set of guidelines that will assure full linguistic access for students with cochlear implants.

Expected to be available in early 2013, the guidelines will serve a wide range of students, school administrators, educational professionals, and families and will be available for free in print as well on both the Clerc Center and Boston Children's Hospital websites.

For more information on Clerc Center National Outreach Resources

For more information on Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program at Boston Children's Hospital 

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