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Dr. Beth Benedict named 2010 winner of Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence

March 4, 2010
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Dr. Beth Benedict, a professor in the Department of Communication Studies, was named the 2010 winner of the Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence on March 1. The Maxon Award is presented each year at the National Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Conference to honor an individual or group of people who have made a noteworthy accomplishment in achieving excellence in EHDI programs nationally or in a particular state or region of the country. Benedict received her award during the 2010 conference, held in Chicago, Ill. She was selected from among nine individuals and two organizations nominated to receive this award, which was first presented in 2008. Albert Mehl and Vickie Thomson also received the Maxon Award this year.

A Gallaudet alumna who received her undergraduate degree in 1980 and her Ph.D. in 2003, Benedict is a long-time mentor to families with newly identified deaf children. She currently serves as the president of the American Society for Deaf Children, founded in 1967 by parents, educators, and deaf individuals.

Benedict has participated in many projects that move EHDI systems forward. She has been a key figure on EHDI conference planning and proposal review committees. She regularly presents at the EHDI conference and has successfully advocated for the inclusion of a more diverse agenda that includes the perspectives of deaf and hard of hearing adults. She has influenced EHDI systems to recognize and acknowledge the range of communication opportunities available to children and families. In addition, Benedict served as a Council on Education of the Deaf representative to the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (JCIH), contributing to the 2007 Position Statement. She currently participates on the JCIH committee developing an Early Intervention Position Statement. She has been a member of the Maryland Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Advisory Council, and is a consultant on early intervention and family involvement.

Benedict has co-developed and taught courses in early education for professionals working with deaf and hard of hearing children and their families through the Gerald “Bummy” Burstein Leadership Institute at Gallaudet, including “Socio-Cultural and Political Contexts of Early Education for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children,” “A System Approach to Language and Communication Planning for Young Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children and their Families,” “Leadership Perspectives on Families with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children their Cultures and Communities,” and “A Systematic Approach to Assessment, Planning and Outcomes in Early Education.”

The EHDI Conference is held annually, with sponsorship from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management at Utah State University.

This award honors the career achievements of Dr. Maxon to promote effective early hearing detection and intervention programs for all newborns, infants, and young children. Maxon was a pioneer in EHDI programs, beginning with her leadership in the Rhode Island Hearing Assessment Project in the late 1980s. She was one of the first to recognize the feasibility and value of universal newborn hearing screening and was a tireless advocate for connecting screening programs with timely and appropriate diagnosis and early intervention.

Maxon’s extensive contributions to creating excellent EHDI programs were abruptly ended by a tragic automobile accident in May of 2007. In memory of her contributions, an Award for EHDI Excellence is presented each year at the National EHDI Conference to honor an individual or group of people who have made a noteworthy accomplishment in achieving excellence in EHDI programs nationally or in a particular state or region of the country.

 

4 March 2010

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