The Educational Advocacy Learning Series for Parents and Professionals Program as WMC's Cochlear Implant Center
The majority of children who are hard of hearing and/or deaf are born into families with normal hearing. As a result, the specific needs of a child with a hearing impairment, specifically within an academic environment, are typically unknown to their parents. Without the knowledge of what their child needs, and what they are entitled to as stipulated by special education laws and precedents, parents are often without the tools necessary to advocate for their child within their academic setting. For families with more limited financial resources or for whom English is a second language, navigating the hurdles of obtaining appropriate services for their child in the mainstream setting is particularly daunting. The Cochlear Implant Center at WMC cares for a disproportionately large percentage of children with limited financial resources and/or from bilingual families.
Against that background, what has evolved is a new Educational Advocacy Learning program for parents and professionals that Partners in Hearing now supports. Under this new Program, WMC will host a quarterly learning series focused on teaching parents and school-based professionals about the therapeutic and technology supports recommended for children with hearing impairment within an academic setting. The purpose and anticipated benefit of each support, as well as how to implement each support within the classroom and at the school system, will be covered. The most effective way to ensure services are appropriately included in a child’s Individual Education Plan and/or 504 plan, will be explained in detail. The goal of this learning series is to empower families and professionals by providing the knowledge of what a child with a CI needs within their academic setting, to facilitate optimal academic success for children with CI.
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