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Deaf and Hard of Hearing Child Resilience Center Established

September 30, 2021

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On July 9, Gallaudet announced that Dr. Lori Day, G-’08 & PhD ’10, a professor in the Department of Psychology in the School of Human Services and Sciences, was awarded a five-year, $2.9 million grant. The grant monies will go into the creation of a treatment center geared towards improving outcomes for traumatized deaf children and adolescents and their families. 

Research shows that deaf and hard of hearing children’s mental health needs are underserved. Thus, deaf children are at greater risk for trauma exposure than their hearing peers. Mental health professionals with the skills and expertise in serving these children? Limited. Appropriate trauma-informed, linguistically-accessible treatments? Also severely limited.

The treatment center, to be named the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Child Resilience Center, aims to close the existing gaps by providing the necessary resources and training for professionals.

Day pulled together a impressive team to make up the DHHCRC. 

Dr. Patrick Boudreault, E-’93, will serve as the Translation Track Director; he will oversee the cultural adaptation and translation process for the project; 

Kasey Pendexter, the Track Director: Pendexter will be responsible for the development of SMART materials for deaf clients and agencies that serve the clients; 

Dr. Elizabeth Warner, one of the SMART co-developers:  Warner will provide consultation, expertise, and training related to SMART and how to optimally adapt and apply SMART for deaf children; 

Dr. Elizabeth Romero will act as Intervention Track Director. Romero will be responsible for the development of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) materials for deaf and hard of hearing clients and dissemination of this intervention to agencies who serve deaf clients.  

Dr. Judith Cohen will take on the role of TF-CBT co-developer. She will provide expertise related to TF-CBT and how to optimally adapt TF-CBT for deaf children. 

Dr. Danielle Previ. G-’15 & PhD ’18, will be the TF-CBT Clinician, and will support materials and manual adaptations for TF-CBT and PCIT. 

Dr. Wyatte Hall, G-’12 & PhD ’14, will serve as Language Deprivation Track Director. Hall will be responsible for contributing general scientific knowledge and expertise about language deprivation. 

Dr. Jonathan Henner, E-’05, will oversee the research design and analysis for the measures that are being developed and/or adapted across this project. 

Lastly, Dr. Sharon Baker will take on the role of Evaluator, serving as the Center’s external evaluator. 

Together, they will ensure that the Center:

  • creates culturally and linguistically accessible tools to assess trauma symptoms and trauma-like behavior in deaf youth; 
  • increases the number of evidence-based, trauma-focused interventions that are tailored for deaf youth; 
  • increases the number of mental health professionals who are trained and qualified to help the traumatized deaf youth; and 
  • develops resources (i.e., training, screening materials) specially designed for providers and families on the unique cultural and linguistic needs of deaf youth. 

Congratulations again to Dr. Day and her team. To stay updated on the Center’s work, go to gu.live/DHHCRC.

30 September 2021

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Michelle Gerson-Wagner

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