Summer Storytime: A Pre-Literacy Camp for Budding Readers

SIGN UP TODAY!

BOOST confidence and ENHANCE skills during the summer months when there is a risk of academic learning loss. This program is centered on language and literacy and perfect for children who want to engage in fun activities with their peers.

Lessons will be beneficial for all children beginning to read. Sessions are facilitated by certified speech-language pathologists.

Targeting A Range Of Phonological Awareness And Language Skills Including:

  • Comprehension & Following Directions
  • Narrative Language & Story Retell
  • Vocabulary Building
  • Print Awareness
  • Rhyming Discrimination & Production
  • Sound Identification/Manipulation
  • Sound/Symbol Correspondence

TUITION & LOCATION INFORMATION

$400 Per Child (Includes Weekly Materials And Snack)
Spots Are Limited - Enroll Today!
Must be at least 3 years of age to participate


TWO LOCATIONS

SCOTTISH RITE CHILDHOOD SPEECH AND LANGUAGE CENTER
3800 N. Charles Street | Baltimore, MD 21218
August 7 - August 17 | Monday - Thursday each week | 10:00 a.m. - Noon
(410) 243-3800 | scottishrite@hasa.org
REGISTER

THE HEARING AND SPEECH AGENCY
5900 Metro Drive | Baltimore, MD 21215
August 7 - August 17 | Monday - Thursday each week | 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
(410) 318-6780 | hasa@hasa.org
REGISTER

Deaf History Month 2017 #DHM17

 

MARCH 21, 2017
6:00 P.M. | HASA AUDITORIUM

Join us for an ASL Open House on Tuesday, March 14 at 6:00 p.m. You'll have the opportunity to meet CIRS Coordinator Cassie Strickland, get any questions you have about HASA, CIRS, or sign language answered, and maybe learn a little ASL in the process. No registration required: we hope to see you there!

 

MARCH 30, 2017
6:00 P.M. | HASA AUDITORIUM

Author Willy Conley will be at HASA for Deaf History Month on Thursday, March 30 at 6:00 P.M. for a signing and presentation of his book, The Deaf HeartRegister here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Willy Conley is a professor of Theatre Arts in the Department of Art, Communication, and Theatre at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. Conley is an award-winning playwright whose work has appeared in American Theatre, Theatre for Young Audiences Today, and several anthologies. Register to read more!

 

MARCH 13 - APRIL 15, 2017
ONGOING

HASA has put together a scavenger hunt for Deaf History Month this year! Every week tune into our social media and blog to discover your new challenge. From learning about American Sign Language to appreciating Deaf culture to discovering Deaf history, you don't want to miss out on the fun!

 

MARCH 13 - APRIL 15, 2017
ONGOING

In addition to our #DHM17 scavenger hunt, pay attention to our social media channels on Thursdays and Saturdays, where we'll be highlighting some of HASA's own history with the Deaf community through #ThrowbackThursday and talking to people with connection to the Deaf community on our #SpotlightSaturday.

     





 

 


HASA Welcomes Author Willy Conley - Hearing and Speech Agency

HASA Welcomes Author Willy Conley

Author Willy Conley will be at The Hearing and Speech Agency for Deaf History Month on Thursday, March 30 at 6:00 P.M. for a signing and presentation of his book, The Deaf Heart. Register here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Willy Conley is a professor of Theatre Arts in the Department of Art, Communication, and Theatre at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. Conley is an award-winning playwright whose work has appeared in American Theatre, Theatre for Young Audiences Today, and several anthologies. He has two books of plays, Vignettes of the Deaf Character and Other Plays and Broken Spokes. His plays have had professional productions both nationally and internationally at venues that include the Kennedy Center, the Boston Center for the Arts, ARBOS, Center Stage, and the National Theatre of the Deaf. He has garnered awards from the VSA Playwright Discovery Competition, The American Deaf Drama Festival, the Laurent Clerc Cultural Fund, and is the recipient of a PEW/National Theatre Artist Residency grant.


DEAF HISTORY MONTH IS CELEBRATED EACH YEAR IN HONOR OF KEY EVENTS IN DEAF HERITAGE:

April 15, 1817: The first public school for the deaf (American School for the Deaf) opened on this date in 1817.
April 8, 1864: Abraham Lincoln signed a charter that established a college for the deaf (Gallaudet University).
March 13, 1988: Deaf President Now movement successfully resulted in the first deaf person to preside Gallaudet University: I. King Jordan.
March 13, 1997: The first Deaf History Month events were held at the Washington, D.C. Public Library.

2017 Fluency Conference

REGISTER ONLINE TODAY     |    DOWNLOAD THE PDF

The Center for Fluency Enhancement is offering a two-day comprehensive fluency conference for speech-language pathologists interested in stuttering and related disorders. Presentations will discuss recent research on stuttering causes and treatments, formal and informal evaluation procedures for varying age groups, and treatment methods across the lifespan. Participants will have the opportunity to troubleshoot difficult cases and develop personalized treatment plans for clients.

TOPICS INCLUDE:

  • History of stuttering and its treatment 
  • Current research trends
  • Evaluation and differential diagnosis
  • Pediatric, adolescent, and adult treatment of stuttering
  • Cluttering and concomitant disorders
  • Counseling the person who stutters
  • Supporting the stuttering community: resources, organizations, and outreach
  • Technology in stuttering treatment
  • Development of individualized treatment plans

Scholarship Applications Now Available

We're now accepting applications for the 2017-2018 academic year (July 2017 - July 2018).
Funding for these scholarships are provided from the Frances Scholarship Endowment Fund.

Please call the school office at 410-318-6780 or email hasa@hasa.org for more information.

We hold Open House events on the second Friday of every month from 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Our next event is February 10.  

Click here>> to request information about Gateway School or to register for a tour.

Since 1960, we've been fostering a love of learning for children with special communication needs. Your child will be immersed in an 11-month program with small classes taught by a caring, professional staff. Intensive therapeutic services are available on site in our program for ages 2 to12. 

HASA Announces New Executive Director - Hearing and Speech Agency

HASA Announces New Executive Director

After an extensive search, The Hearing and Speech Agency (HASA) has selected Erin Stauder to be its next Executive Director. She will succeed Susan Glasgow, who served as director for 22 years.

Ms. Stauder will take the lead of an organization with a strong history in the Baltimore community. Founded in 1926 as a meeting place for the hard of hearing, HASA has evolved to serve the interpreting, educational and therapeutic needs of children and adults through CIRS Interpreting, Gateway School, and a clinical services program.

Since 2006, Erin has been a member of the clinical faculty at Loyola University Maryland. There she managed the clinical internship program for speech-language graduate clinicians at multiple locations in Baltimore City. Prior positions include serving as an Advanced Therapist with the University of Maryland Medical Center and also managing and providing a variety of services to young children through Easter Seals of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Erin earned Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees in Speech-Language Pathology from Loyola College Maryland and is pursuing her doctorate in public policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Her colleagues describe her as a gifted leader and manager, able to make difficult decisions, yet collaborative in her leadership style. She states: "Access to language and communication has been an integral part of my educational and professional career, so I already feel connected to HASA's mission. I'm excited to work with the board and staff to continue to move the organization forward."

The board’s search committee was led by committee chair Peter Bosworth, board president Aaron Marshall and Dr. Jane R. Snider of Heads-Up Consultants. The inclusiveness of the search process and the outcome reflect the committee’s extraordinary dedication and service to HASA and its mission.

READ THE FULL PRESS RELEASE HERE>>

HASA Family Fun Day - Hearing and Speech Agency

HASA Family Fun Day

Saturday, October 29, 2016
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

To show our appreciation for our clients and families, we’re hosting a Family Fun Day at The Hearing and Speech Agency. The event is open to children who come to the Clinical Services Program and the children of our adult clients. We hope you can join us! Food, Fun, Games & Prizes! Family Fun Day will be held rain or shine.
 

HASA Steps Up For Hearing Loss

The Hearing and Speech Agency staff, friends and family are participating in the Washington, DC Walk4Hearing to benefit the Hearing Loss Association of America and The Hearing and Speech Agency. The walk will be a lovely 5K stroll (3.1 miles) on a fall day at Cameron Run Regional Park in Alexandria, VA.

Consider joining our team. The more, the merrier!

Saturday, October 22, 2016 @ Cameron Run Regional Park, Alexandria, Virginia

It's fast and easy to sign up for our team!

Our goal is to raise $2,000, about half of which will be used for services at The Hearing and Speech Agency. But you can just come out and walk with us if you like!

International Week of the Deaf

This event is free and open to the public.  Registration is required. 


BALTIMORE'S BIGGEST ASL CLASS

Community Sign Language Gathering
Tuesday, September 20 | 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
HASA Auditorium

learn more

ABOUT THE CLASS: Lessons on Deaf culture, history, and awareness.  Join us as we come together in an ASL-rich celebration of communication! This program is presented entirely in sign language and while no voice interpretation will be provided, we invite anyone to attend – whether they are fluent in ASL or not. This event is in participation with our Fall 2016 ASL classes.  CLICK HERE>> for more information about sign language classes at The Hearing and Speech Agency.

Hearing Loss Association of America - Greater Baltimore Chapter

UPCOMING MEETING DATES

MD TAP (MARYLAND TECHNOLOGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM)
Tuesday, September 20 | 10:30 a.m. - Noon
The Hearing and Speech Agency | 5900 Metro Drive | Baltimore

Special guest Denise Schuler, assistive technology specialist, explores technology to help solve your hearing loss problems.Come and see and experience hands-on demonstrations of items to make the lives of people with hearing loss easier. Set up times for future individual consultations and free device loans for up to 4 weeks.

MEET & GREET
Thursday, September 22 | 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
The Hearing and Speech Agency | 5900 Metro Drive | Baltimore

An opportunity to discuss hearing loss with others. We also welcome Ann Rancourt, who will be talking about the Walk4Hearing.

For information, contact Carrie Nicholson or visit www.hearinglossbaltimore.org

 

Child Care Center - Now Enrolling!

8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.  | Flexible Hours Available
Visit our next Open House!

Gateway School’s inclusive early education setting provides your child with a balanced program that includes a range of activities both in and out of the classroom.  Children will learn and play in a variety of settings: as individuals and in groups, in free and structured play, and through teacher-directed and child-initiated activities.

Your child will be immersed in a range of stimulating learning opportunities that focus on physical, social, emotional and cognitive development. As we’ve done for more than 50 years, we will help your child achieve his or her full potential by developing strong communication and social skills while fostering a lifelong love of learning.


Here are a few things that you might want to know:

  • We're hosting Open House events on the 2nd Friday of every month from 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.  Feel free to join us or schedule a private tour at a time better suited to you.
  • The program is open to children ages 2-5.
  • Because we are an approved child care facility, flexible spending accounts can be used. Please contact your plan for limits.

Interested in learning more about our inclusive preschool program?  Contact us today to schedule a tour.  You can use this form or call us directly at 410.318.6780.

We’d love to meet your family!

REQUEST MORE INFORMATION

Get Tested!

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, which means that it's time to get your hearing checked! Fill out the form below for our Get Tested! campaign to schedule an appointment with our audiologists.

 

2016 CIRS Professional Development Series

learn more 

REGISTER ONLINE

DOWNLOAD AN EVENT FLIER

The Workshop

WORK AND PLAY: IMPROVING WORKING MEMORY

Many common errors made by interpreters can be traced back to deficiencies in memory. Some of these errors stem from having too short a processing time. Once more information can be held in working memory, processing time can be improved. Many errors in the form of omissions could be avoided if the information would just stick around in the brain long enough to be processed and delivered. Research shows that we can make improvements to our memories by applying strategies in our deliberate practice and that certain activities can improve our ability to capitalize on our existing capacities. This workshop is activity-based. There will be a brief introduction into how working memory operates. Participants will then learn a variety of drills and games designed to improve working memory. These will include individual, partner, and group activities.

DATE: April 20, 2016

TIME: 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

LOCATION: HASA Auditorium | 5900 Metro Drive | Baltimore, MD 21215

COST: $25.00 (general) | Student $20.00 (students)

CEUs: 0.20 PS*

PLEASE NOTE: This workshop is presented in ASL; no English interpretation will be provided. Please determine if your ASL receptive skill level is appropriate for this workshop. 


The Facilitator

KIVA BENNETT (NIC)

Kiva is a Florida native, now living in Washington, DC. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education and is currently pursuing an MA in Linguistics at Gallaudet. Kiva likes to research and to teach.

She periodically gets lost down the black hole of procrastination by means of investigation, trying to find ways to enhance her skills. Upon surfacing, she's been known to say, "Hay, I bet other interpreters would love to know this stuff too!" And a workshop is born.

 

 

 


* CIRS Interpreting is an approved RID CMP sponsor #0279 for continuing education activities. This workshop is offered for .20 PS CEUs at the intermediate content level. This workshop is open to all level Sign Language Interpreters.

 

Visit http://bit.ly/1Ufwpky for registration information, to request accommodations, or to view CIRS Interpreting's cancellation policy.

Deaf History Month - Hearing and Speech Agency

Deaf History Month

Free admission to all events. Registration Required
Refreshments available for purchase in the lobby.

learn more


AN EVENING WITH DR. BARBARA KANNAPELL
Thursday, March 10 | 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. | HASA Auditorium
A persistent advocate in the deaf community and scholar of deaf history, Dr. Kannapell will join us for a Deaf culture discussion that you don’t want to miss! REGISTER HERE>>

ASL FILM: IN THE CAN
Thursday, March 31 | 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. | HASA Auditorium
An aspiring young director has a dream of making it big in Hollywood. When a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity arises, can he pull off the impossible? This film features actor and America’s Next Top Model winner Nyle DiMarco. REGISTER HERE>>
 
DEAF HISTORY MONTH IS CELEBRATED EACH YEAR IN HONOR OF KEY EVENTS IN DEAF HERITAGE:
April 15, 1817: The first public school for the deaf (American School for the Deaf) opened on this date in 1817.
April 8, 1864: Abraham Lincoln signed a charter that established a college for the deaf (Gallaudet University). 
March 13, 1988: Deaf President Now movement successfully resulted in the first deaf person to preside Gallaudet University: I. King Jordan.
March 13, 1997: The first Deaf History Month events were held at the Washington, D.C. Public Library. 

Be a Part of HASA's 90th Anniversary Celebration

Free admission to all events
Refreshments available for purchase in the lobby


HASA HISTORY OPEN HOUSE
Thursday, October 15 | 3:00 p.m - 7:00 p.m. | HASA Auditorium
ASL Interpreting available 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
The Hearing and Speech Agency and CIRS Interpreting are looking to gather information about the organization through the years. Have memories? Have videos? Have photos? Have keepsakes? We want to know!  Join us for the opportunity to see how we're ramping up for HASA's 90th anniversary and share your story. 

learn more

Privacy Policy

The Hearing and Speech Agency has created this Privacy Policy to explain why we collect particular information and how we will protect your personal privacy within our Web site. The following discloses our information-gathering and dissemination practices for the Web site located at the URL hasa.convio.net.

In order to fully understand your rights, we encourage you to read this Privacy Policy as well as our Terms of Use. The Hearing and Speech Agency reserves the right, at any time and without notice, to change this Privacy Policy simply by posting such changes on our Site. Any such change will be effective immediately upon posting.

Because we want to demonstrate our commitment to your privacy, this Privacy Policy notifies you of: 
1. What personally identifiable information of yours is collected through the Site; 
2. Who collects such information; 
3. How such information is used; 
4. With whom your information may be shared; 
5. What choices you have regarding collection, use and distribution of your information; 
6. What kind of security procedures are in place to protect the loss, misuse or alteration of information under our control; and
7. How you can correct any inaccuracies in your information.

Questions regarding this statement should be directed to The Hearing and Speech Agency by sending an email to hasanews@hasa.org. Please reference this Privacy Policy in your subject line. 

What Information We Collect and How We Use That Information: 
Our registration forms require users to give us contact information that may include name, email address, format preference (HTML vs. Text), address, interests and similar information. We do not request or store sensitive information from our visitors, such as credit card or social security numbers. 

Internet Protocol Address: 
We collect an IP address from all visitors to our Site. An IP address is a number that is automatically assigned to your computer when you use the Internet. We use IP addresses to help diagnose problems with our server, administer our Site, analyze trends, track users' movement, gather broad demographic information for aggregate use in order for us to improve the site, and deliver customized, personalized content. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information. 

Use of "Cookies": 
Our Site may use cookies to enhance your experience while using our Site. Cookies are pieces of information that some Web sites transfer to the computer that is browsing that Web site and are used for record-keeping purposes at many Web sites. Use of cookies makes Web-surfing easier by performing certain functions such as saving your passwords, your personal preferences regarding your use of the particular Web site, and to make sure you don't see the same ad repeatedly. Many consider the use of cookies to be an industry standard. 

Your browser is probably set to accept cookies. However, if you would prefer not to receive cookies, you can alter the configuration of your browser to refuse cookies. If you choose to have your browser refuse cookies, it is possible that some areas of our Site will not function properly when you view them. 

Security: 
All information provided to The Hearing and Speech Agency is transmitted using SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption. SSL is a proven coding system that lets your browser automatically encrypt, or scramble, data before you send it to us. We also protect account information by placing it on a secure portion of our Site that is only accessible by certain qualified employees of The Hearing and Speech Agency. Unfortunately, however, no data transmission over the Internet is 100% secure. While we strive to protect your information, we cannot ensure or warrant the security of such information. 

Tell-A-Friend: 
If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our Site, we ask user for the friend's name and email address. The Hearing and Speech Agency will automatically send the friend a one-time email inviting friend to visit the Site. The Hearing and Speech Agency stores this information for the sole purpose of sending this one-time email. 

Other Web Sites: 
Our Site contains links to other Web sites. Please note that when you click on one of these links, you are entering another Web site for which The Hearing and Speech Agency has no responsibility. We encourage you to read the privacy statements on all such sites as their policies may be different from ours. 

Contacting the Web Site: 
If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, the practices of this Site, or your dealings with this Site, you can contact: 

The Hearing and Speech Agency
5900 Metro Drive
Baltimore, MD 21215 

You can also send an email to: hasanews@hasa.org

Shine a Light on Autism

In honor of Autism Awareness month in April, the students and staff at Gateway School and The Hearing and Speech Agency got together to Light it Up Blue!

Some facts about Autism that may astound you*:

  • Autism now affects 1 in 68
  • Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with Autism than girls 
  • More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes & cancer combined
  • The incidence of autism has increased 75% in the past five years
  • Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases
  • Half of the students at Gateway School have autism

These are just a few of the reasons that Gateway decided to participate to shine a light on Autism.

* Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and Autism Speaks

Winter Newsletter - Hot off the Press! - Hearing and Speech Agency

HASA wins Google Glass Challenge

 

The Hearing and Speech Agency (HASA) is one of five winners of Google's Giving Through Glass program.

HASA will use Glass to explore, develop and pilot new ways to help individuals who have communication difficulties and to support those who teach and care for them in community, therapeutic and educational settings. The project’s goal is to improve communication access for people who have speech-language challenges, hearing loss and autism. HASA anticipates that Glass will provide the means for an increase in both the quality and quantity of services available to individuals in the Baltimore area and beyond. HASA is joined alongside 3,000 Miles to a Cure, Classroom Champions, Mark Morris Dance Group and Women's Audio Mission; projects were selected based on four key criteria: impact, innovation, feasibility and implementation.

Winners receive Glass, a $25,000 grant, a trip to Google for training, and access to Glass software developers to partner on their projects.

Click Here>> to read the press release.

Win Tickets from HASA | CIRS Interpreting!

Raffle

Deaf Seniors of America (DSA) Baltimore 2013 Conference at the Baltimore Hilton Hotel

HASA/CIRS Interpreting, a DSA Silver Sponsor, announces a free drawing for 2 prizes:

Orioles Prize
2 Combo Registration Tickets & 2 Banquet/Entertainment Tickets

Ravens Prize
2 Combo Registration Tickets, 2 Banquet/Entertainment Tickets & 5-Night Hilton Hotel Stay in Standard Room (August 23-27, 2013)

For conference details, please click the image above

Eligible for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Seniors age 50 and above and Maryland residents.

Deadline:August 12  | Drawing: August 13

One submission per person.

Alliance Groups Join the Walk4Hearing

In 2008 the HLAA Walk4Hearing kicked off its Alliance program. This program creates partnerships between HLAA and groups like HASA, as well as schools, hospitals, hearing health care-related entities and more. For HASA, the opportunity to be an Alliance partner was the perfect solution. They can continue to raise awareness of hearing loss, help raise money and have the benefit of retaining a portion of the total amount raised by their team(s) for their own programs within their local community. 

Written by Tammy C. Black

The Hearing and Speech Agency (HASA) was founded in response to one woman's futile search for a gathering place where people with a hearing loss could connect with and share similar experiences with people like them. Nearly a century later, inclusion is still paramount to HASA's mission.

HLAA and HASA have a long history of working together to make communication a priority. In fact, we host the HLAA Greater Baltimore Chapter (Maryland) meetings in our facility. There were many reasons why it made sense for HASA to participate in the Walk4Hearing, yet we never formed a team.

Originally, it just seemed logical not to participate. Raising Funds for another organization would be a challenge when we, too, are a nonprofit seeking contributions from donors. We host several events in the community and just weren't sure if participation in the Walk would diminish interest in our own activities. How did taking a stand for hearing loss affect our message about autism, the Deaf community or speech-language issues? Would it take our focus away from our other communication programs?

When we learned of the Walk4Hearing Alliance program, it seemed like a win-win in the best possible sense and a true partnership between our organizations. And the benefits of the partnership go way beyond financial gain. HLAA's national presence in the hearing loss community has allowed us to meet and collaborate with new partner organizations; the Walk program has a much larger reach than anything that we could plan locally; and being part of a national movement has energized the HASA team immensely. Additionally, lending our voice to such an important cause, without having to plan an additional event, has renewed our focus on many of our other programs.

Our team is already looking forward to the 2013 Walk!

DOWNLOAD THE PDF>>

Is It Really ADHD or a Developmental Delay? It Could Be Hearing Loss

by Joyce Heid
originally published June 2013, Baltimore's Child

In 2009, Millersville mom Jennifer Hunt took her daughter, Jillian, for a well-baby visit. Jillian, who was not even a year old, had no history of ear infections, so her mom was surprised when the pediatrician told her Jillian had fluid in her ears that was unable to drain. He recommended to Hunt that she follow up with a pediatric ENT (ear, nose, and throat).

As part of the evaluation process, the ENT performed an audiology screening, which revealed that the fluid in Jillian's ears was making it difficult for her to hear. 

"For Jillian, everything sounded like she was underwater," explains Hunt, who'd had no real reason to suspect anything was amiss with her little girl up until that point. As a newborn, Jillian had received a routine screening for hearing loss and passed. The ENT's testing suggested the fluid in her ears had begun to accumulate several months later.

Hearing loss in a child can lead to many problems, compounded by the possibility for misdiagnosis: a child with hearing loss may display some of the same behaviors as children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or developmental delays.

Sun Young Lee, an audiologist with The Hearing and Speech Agency of Baltimore, says examples of the behaviors that can manifest both in children who have ADHD and in those with hearing loss include poor academic performance, difficulty carrying out multistep directions and attending to oral instructions or presentations, impulsiveness, inappropriate responses to questions, and limited social interactions with others. To ensure proper diagnosis, therefore, she recommends a hearing screening be included in a child's initial evaluation for ADHD.

Dr. David Tunkel, director of pediatric otolaryngology at Johns Hopkins Hospital, agrees, noting that while more severe hearing losses usually may be diagnosed in an infant at the hospital shortly after birth, that initial screening might fail to detect some hearing loss and, of course, will not detect some hearing loss and, of course, will not detect any loss that may develop later. He advises parents to be on the lookout for telltale signs of hearing loss in their child's behavior and development. "Certainly any child with delays in understanding or producing spoken language, children who do not respond to soft sounds, and any child where parents suspect hearing loss, needs to have additional evaluation," he says.

"Repeated ear infections rarely cause hearing problems," emphasizes Tunkel. "However, some children who have ear infections, or are thought to have ear infections, keep fluid in the middle ear for extended periods of time. This causes a mild to moderate conductive hearing loss. This hearing loss is reversible and will improve when the middle ear fluid either goes away or is removed at the time of placement of tympanostomy tubes."

Tympanostomy tubes, also known as pressure equalizing, or PE, tubes are small tubes inserted into the eardrum that allow fluid to drain from the middle ear.

Doctors placed tympanostomy tubes in Jillian Hunt's ears at a year old. Her hearing was subsequently retested, revealing no residual loss. Although her initial hearing loss contributed to some language delays, after receiving speech therapy through the Anne Arundel County Infants and Toddlers Program, Jillian caught up to her peers and today is a thriving, talkative 5-year-old.

Lee says as many as one-third of school-aged children may have fluctuating hearing loss at any given time due to middle ear dysfunction related to ear infections and encourages parents to stay vigilant. "Even though the hearing loss is not usually permanent, a mild to moderate hearing loss will temporarily affect the child's ability to hear and should be addressed," she advises.

In its "Year 2007 Position Statement: Principles and Guidelines for Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Programs," the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that any infant who displays delayed hearing or communication skills development undergo an audiological evaluation, regardless of the findings of his or her newborn hearing screening.

Lee recommends concerned parents visit the website of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, at http://www.nidcd.nih.gov which, offers a Hearing and Communicative Development Checklist for children ages newborn to 5-years-old.

Nonpublic special education graduates outpace their peers in public settings

They have higher rates of employment, independence after graduation when compared to national results, study finds

January 03, 2013|By Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun

While most children see dream jobs, spouses and freedom in their futures, Brian Bailey saw only death. The autistic boy, who stopped speaking at 18 months, grew up with anxiety about getting older, and his rocky educational track record early on didn't allay his fears.

"I was obsessing from the beginning about his future, asking 'What am I going to do?' " said his mother, Jennell Bailey, as she recalled his one week in a Baltimore public school general-education classroom, where she said he wasn't flourishing.

But in 2014 when Brian Bailey graduates from the St. Elizabeth School in Baltimore — a nonpublic institution that is part of a group called the Maryland Association of Nonpublic Special Education Facilities — he will be eagerly anticipating the next stage of his life.

MANSEF, which is made up of schools that take in special-education students who are referred from public schools that can't meet their needs, recently commissioned a report that showed that their post-graduation results outpace national outcomes for students with disabilities who receive services in public schools.

The study found that students with disabilities who graduate from MANSEF's nonpublic schools are more likely than their public school classmates to be employed, enrolled in a post-secondary school and living independently and are less likely to have been exposed to the juvenile justice system.

"It was critical for us to know and validate the heroic efforts of the staff working in our schools, and really make sure that the education we provide is really top-notch," said Dorie Flynn, executive director of MANSEF.

Flynn said that while the system's nonpublic schools follow the state's curriculum and are subjected to intensive annual evaluations and regulations by the state Department of Education, the organization wanted a snapshot of its results. "It's really important to do outcome studies," Flynn said. "You don't want to do something if it's fruitless."

The research was compiled by Deborah Carran, a researcher and professor at the Johns Hopkins University, who called the results encouraging.

The MANSEF graduates were compared to results found in a study done by the U.S. Department of Education called the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2, which tracks a sample population of special-needs students who receive services in public schools as they transition to adulthood. The MANSEF study represented students from 18 nonpublic institutions two years after they graduated in 2007 and 2008.

Carran said the longitudinal study, which served as a model for the MANSEF study, was the most comparable data available, though students in the MANSEF study often have more severe disabilities. "It demonstrates that these students, with the proper supports in place, they can go on to be very engaged in their community, in the world," Carran said. "I was surprised at how engaged they were, how many were out there doing something."

For example, the percentage of students who graduated from MANSEF schools and were employed within one year was 53 percent compared to 27 percent nationally.

The number enrolled in a four-year college was 11 percent, compared to 4 percent in the national sample; about 74 percent of MANSEF special-education students were living at home after one year, while 84 percent were nationally. And about 16 percent in MANSEF schools had been involved in the criminal justice system, while 58 percent in the national study were.

An original MANSEF school, St. Elizabeth is one of 93 programs in Maryland that serve students in a setting that is small, well equipped and heavily staffed. "We are able to collaborate and individualize to an intense degree," said Lori Revitz, clinical coordinator at St. Elizabeth. "Because we understand them so well, we can help them understand themselves."

The debate around inclusive settings, in which special-education students are in general-education classrooms rather than being segregated, continues to be contentious. But parents and educators at St. Elizabeth — which has extracurricular activities like proms, sports teams and a student council, and where students have jobs and can even take college courses — say that young disabled adults are in a setting where they can flourish.

"The truth is [there is more] normalization here than in inclusion," said Joshua Gervais, transition coordinator for St. Elizabeth. "One of the biggest things that holds students back is socialization. Here, they're good enough."

For Mary Lee Richardson, that was key to choosing St. Elizabeth for her 16-year-old, autistic son, who was struggling in a Baltimore County high school. Soon after starting school, he fought going every day because few knew his name, let alone his frustrations.

"He kind of hit a wall in the public school, where he was doing it — but he wasn't learning," recalled Richardson. "He was just lost. It has made a difference in our lives."

Give to HASA Through the IRA Charitable Rollover

Provision Extended Through 2013

From now through December 31, 2013, individuals who are 70 1/2 and older may give up to $100,000 directly from an Individual Retirement Account to charity. This opportunity comes as part of The American Tax Relief Act of 2012, which provides a reinstatement of the IRA Charitable Rollover.  The new law also allows any eligible gifts made by February 1, 2013, to be treated as a 2012 donation to satisfy the taxpayer's minimum distribution requirement for 2012.

Traditionally, all transfers from an IRA, even to charity, are subject to income tax. The IRA Charitable Rollover allows you to make a gift directly from your IRA to charity without paying any federal income tax or withdrawal penalties. The IRA Charitable Rollover provision was originally part of the Pension Protection Act of 2006, but expired at the end of 2007, was reinstated and expired several times and has now been reinstated through December 31, 2013.

Gifts made directly to charity from your IRA can satisfy some or all of your required minimum distribution, allowing you to reduce your taxable income. For some, these advantages may make 2013 an excellent time to make gifts from an IRA to a favorite non-profit organization, including The Hearing and Speech Agency

HASA Launches Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) Program

In a hospital emergency room, deaf and hard of hearing patients typically have to wait for up to an hour for a professional sign language interpreter to arrive on-site. Thanks to a new VRI (video remote interpreting) program from The Hearing and Speech Agency | CIRS Interpreting, hospitals can connect with a remote interpreter quickly to conduct registration, intake, and triage with the patient or caregiver without significant delay. Once the live interpreter arrives, the VRI interpreter signs off and becomes available to dozens of other hospitals for the next emergency.

This kind of technology is also useful in workplace and educational settings, where organizations are increasingly converting to VRI services for brief interactions and regular meetings that would otherwise be difficult and costly to schedule. Businesses and schools located in areas not adequately serviced by existing community interpreters can also benefit from increased access to professional interpreters.

Now, instant access to an interpreter can be available to people who are deaf, hard of hearing or non-English speakers. HASA is installing two iPads in its own building for clients and students so that staff can immediately communicate with anyone who walks in the door for therapeutic or educational services.

Interpreting will be available for Spanish and up to 175 other languages all through one device.

States VRI Director Steve Frank, "The really exciting part about VRI is that we now have the capability to expand our interpreting services to include foreign languages, as well. Our mission as an organization that facilitates communication can reach many more people in need of interpreting services."

Read the full press release here>>

Hearing Loss and Dementia

Wednesday
October 10
7:30 PM
HASA Auditorium
Event is Free and Open to the Public

 

 

Learn more about the groundbreaking research on the link between hearing loss and cognitive function in older adults.

Presented by: Frank Lin, M.D. Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Division of Otology
Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery

Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology
Bloomberg School of Public Health

Core Faculty Member
Johns Hopkins Center on Aging and Health

About the Presenter

Dr. Lin's research focuses on how hearing loss impacts the health and functioning of older adults and the role of different modalities (hearing aids, cochlear implantation) in mitigating these effects. In particular, he is interested in exploring how hearing loss may be mechanistically associated with cognition, dementia, functional decline, and social isolation.

He conducts both observational and interventional clinical studies of hearing loss treatment in older adults. He is also currently the Co-Principal Investigator of a Phase1b clinical trial of a pharmacologic drug that could potentially improve hearing ability on a daily basis and is now in the process of planning the SMART 2 pilot study, which will develop and operationalize a community-based multilevel/multimodal intervention for hearing loss.

Call for Presenters for Interpreting Workshops

2012 Professional Development Series for Interpreters

HASA | CIRS is soliciting presenters for our 2012 Professional Development Series. We endeavor to provide educational opportunities to advance individuals in the field of interpreting. Our goal is to participate in the further development of the knowledge, ability and professional practice of individuals and to support the expansion of the professional. Papers are sought on ALL aspects of interpreting for all levels, ranging from student to advanced.

 

Topics sought include, but are not limited to:

LANGUAGE/INTERPRETING SKILLS

Processing * Discourse Analysis * Voice to Sign | Sign to Voice * Demand | Control * Semantics *  Classifiers * Fingerspelling * Product * Linguistics

SPECIALTIES

Deaf-Blind * Legal * Medical * Educational * CDI | Deaf Interpreting * Interpreting Business * VRS Interpreting * Mentoring * Creative Arts

UNIQUE COMMUNITIES

Law Enforcement * Probation * Mental health * HIV/AIDS * Aging * Teens * Religious | Spiritual * Video Remote Interpreting

BEST PRACTICES

Ethics * Finance * Entrepreneurship * Team Interpreting * Diversity | Cultural Sensitivity * Health * Critical Thinking * Ethical Decision-Making

Send proposal packages electronically to
Interpreter Education Coordinator

Proposal Package Should include:

  • One page abstract/presentation description
  • Outline of educational objectives
  • Photo
  • Presenter resume/ CV and bio
  • Description of support services/media needs/accommodations

Additional Information:

  • Workshops may be 3, 4, 5, or 6 hours in length. Consideration will be given to any submission of a workshop series (two or three-day).
  • All workshops will be held at The Hearing and Speech Agency | 5900 Metro Drive | Baltimore, MD 21215.
  • RID CEUs will be offered where applicable.
  • Compensation will be commensurate with workshop level and length.

Safeway Foundation Grant Awarded to HASA

The Safeway Foundation recently hosted an awards ceremony to distribute grants to local charities.  The Foundation is funded through the generous contributions of Safeway employees throughout its Eastern Division, which operates 127 stores in Northern Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Washington, DC.   The Foundation distributes more than $250,000 annually with special emphasis on organizations in the areas of hunger relief, education, health and human services and special needs.

 

Among the groups receiving funding was The Hearing and Speech Agency, which was awarded $2,500.  Pictured here are Marguerite Montgomery of The Hearing and Speech Agency  (left) and Gregory Ten Eyck, chairman of the Safeway Foundation for the Eastern Division.

Meet the Match.com of the Nonprofit World


PAUL STURM | TUESDAY, MAY 22, 2012
Bmore media.com
photography by steve ruark

Growing up in Upper Marlboro, Aaron Marshall wanted to overcome his stuttering.

After many years of work with speech pathologists, Marshall succeeded and the attorney is now a board member for an agency that helps others find their own voice.

The senior counsel for Northrop Grumman Corp. in Linthicum became a board member of the nonprofit Hearing and Speech Agency of Baltimore. Last year, HASA provided diagnosis, speech therapy, family education and other assistance to more than 100 individuals who stutter and hosted a special viewing for the Oscar-winning movie “The King's Speech.”


This summer, Marshall says he will participate in HASA’s Turtle Beach Club, a weeklong workshop that builds self-confidence and speech fluency for children who stutter and are approaching middle school years.

“I think it will be great,” Marshall says recalling his own childhood struggles to speak. “Serving on the HASA board has given me a broader, deeper perspective about how others are living and helps me remember how much others need helping hands.”

Marshall got connected to the agency through Business Volunteers Unlimited Maryland, a nonprofit with eight staff in South Baltimore that operates as the Match.com for business people who want to serve the community and nonprofits that benefit from their expertise as board members and volunteers. Since 2003, Business Volunteers Unlimited’s signature board matching program has placed more than 500 professionals from 75 companies – including Constellation Energy Group Inc., Legg Mason, PNC Bank and T. Rowe Price Group Inc. -- on the boards of 350 Baltimore-area nonprofits.

“We’re the bridge connecting the business community’s time and talent with the needs and opportunities of Baltimore’s nonprofits,” says Business Volunteers’ Executive Director Kelly Hodge-Williams. “We strengthen the community by inspiring volunteerism.”

After an initial meeting with a Business Volunteers Unlimited staff member, prospective board members attend a half-day board-training program. At a follow-up meeting, Business Volunteers Unlimited identifies one or two nonprofits that could be a good match.

This is the process that brought Jennifer Bowers to the Hampden Family Center nine months ago. Her company’s Regional Managing Principal, David Gillece, initially contacted the vice president of marketing and communications for downtown Baltimore real estate firm Cassidy Turley about getting involved with a Baltimore-area nonprofit.

“The training was interesting and eye-opening,” Bowers says. “It defined the difference between a nonprofit and for-profit business.”

Bowers was particularly intrigued when she learned about the Hampden Family Center, which provides educational programs and support to children, families and seniors. The center was looking for a board member with marketing expertise, so Bowers scheduled meetings on-site with the executive director and board president.

“I loved what I saw,” she says. “They’re making a big splash in a small area, and I realized I could be helpful in many ways.”

Serving on the board since September has given Bowers a more holistic view of what goes into a nonprofit organization versus just giving money.

Her efforts have made an impact, the center’s Executive Director Elisa Ghinger says. Bowers’ contributions included securing auction items for a fundraising event and recommending the center thank donors with notes from the children it serves.

“Jennifer brings a fresh view of our organization and understanding of its culture and capacity,” Ghinger says. “Her suggestions are realistic and doable.”

As Business Volunteers Unlimited looks ahead to its 10th anniversary and beyond, Hodge-Williams says she wants to connect more volunteers and nonprofits through increased marketing and PR efforts. The organization wants to double the number of businesses it works with and increase its board matches by 50 percent over the next three years. Its goal is to work with 100 businesses and make 150 board placements per year.

Says Hodge-Williams: “We’re increasing (Business Volunteers Unlimited’s) visibility so businesses see what we’re doing and how much impact they can make on the community.”

Download this article as a PDF>>

Paul Sturm coordinates the Baltimore Nonprofit Leaders Circles and teaches in the Nonprofit Management Program at Notre Dame of Maryland University. He lives downtown where he feeds his addiction to crab cakes and Berger Cookies.

Cancellations/Accommodations

Cancellation Policy

CIRS reserves the right to cancel this workshop within seven days of the scheduled event. All paid registrations will be refunded.

Registration cancellations will be refunded in full if requested at least five days prior to the scheduled workshop. 50% of registration fees will be refunded for cancellations requested within five days of a scheduled event. Failure to attend event for which registration is confirmed will result in forfeiture. Forfeited registration fees may not be applied to a future event.

Special Accommodations

The Hearing and Speech Agency honors all requests for accommodations.  If you have dietary restrictions or are in need of special accommodations, please contact us via email with your request at least seven days prior to the scheduled event.

Make your Holiday shopping count!

Did you know that The Hearing and Speech Agency and Gateway School can earn cash donations from retailers by just shopping in their stores or on the Internet? Grandparents, neighbors and friends can take part in all the programs, too.

Your participation is greatly appreciated and will help HASA provide services and programs to individuals with communication differences in our community.

Online Shopping

AMAZON SMILE

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support The Hearing and Speech Agency every time you shop, all at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from nearly one million organizations to support, make sure to choose HASA!
 

SHOP.COM

Doing any more online shopping? Get paid to shop with Shop.Com's Cashback program, where you can earn up to 50% on qualifying purchases when you shop to support HASA in The Hearing and Speech Agency portal

 

GOODSHOP 

Use Goodshop to support Hearing and Speech Agency - HASA 

The Hearing and Speech Agency has joined forces with GoodShop and your can earn money every time you shop!

 

Loyalty Cards

  GIANT
  Register your card online and choose 
  ID# 01440 for Gateway School.

 

 

  SAFEWAY
  
Register your card online and choose 
  GROUP ID# 6654031 for Gateway School.

 

 

  TARGET
  Register your card online and choose
  ID# 21893 for Gateway School.

 

REMINDER: Even if you registered your card last year, you MUST RE-REGISTER this year for Gateway to receive credit. Attending to this simple process makes a HUGE difference to our students.

 

 

Box Top and Label Collection

Our goal this year is to collect 5,000 points. Save UPCs and send them to our school. Look for the LABELS FOR EDUCATION logo on participating products or visit the website for a complete list of eligible products.

Gateway School earns $.10 for every box top collected from a wide variety of food products and related items. Look for the BOX TOPS FOR EDUCATION logo or visit the website for a complete list of eligible products.

We use money & points collected to purchase books, playground equipment, and even computers, depending upon how many coupons are collected. Ask family members and friends to save their box top coupons & labels for us. 


Labels & BoxTops may be sent to: 
GATEWAY SCHOOL
ATTN: PAT PHILLIPS
5900 METRO DRIVE
BALTIMORE, MD 21215 

HASA Welcomes Two New Board Members

The Hearing and Speech Agency (HASA), a non-profit organization providing audiology and speech-language pathology services, special education for children with communication needs and interpreting services for the deaf, announces the election of two new members to its Board of Directors:

BEVERLY RICHARDS
Ms. Richards is the Director of Development at Coppin State University. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in English from the University of Baltimore and is currently working towards her Master of Public Administration degree. She worked to raise more than $8 million to support Coppin's Helene Fuld School of Nursing. She served as the editor of the Luminaire, the School of Nursing Magazine, which promotes leadership and personal development of faculty, staff and students and has planned and executed ARTcetra, an annual art auction to benefit the school.

Prior to her tenure at Coppin State University, she was with The Department of Business & Economic Development for the state of Maryland, The Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland and was owner of her own public relations firm, The Richburg Group. Beverly has received the Maryland Chapter Public Relations Society of Maryland award and an award from the Maryland Business Review. In addition, she is a member of Pi Alpha Alpha, the National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration. Her special interests range from storytelling and creative writing to being a member of Griot Circle of Maryland, Inc., an oral historian group that brings traditional African stories, poems and songs to life across the United States and in other countries.

AARON T. MARSHALL, ESQ.
A Widener University School of Law graduate, Aaron also has a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Delaware. Currently, he is Senior Counsel with the Northrop Grumman Corporation, where he has worked since 2006. Prior to that position, Aaron was Associate Legal Advisor to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Assistant General Counsel to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Bureau of Prisons; and DOJ Honors Attorney. His areas of expertise include serving as a corporate attorney advising multiple business areas in government and commercial contracting, evaluation of business risks, conducting internal investigations, compliance with company policies and applicable laws, business ethics and commercial leases. He also has diversified senior level experience with federal agencies advising on the formation and administration of government schedule contracts and employment litigation before administrative courts.

Aaron is currently a Director with the Association of Corporate Counsel - Baltimore Area Chapter, a pro bono counsel for the Maryland volunteer Lawyers Service. He has been a student at the American Academy of Martial Arts and ran the Marine Corps Marathon in 2004.

HASA Board President Jeri Hessan states, "Beverly and Aaron possess a passion for community service that, when combined with their impressive resumes, will serve The Hearing and Speech Agency well for years to come." The Hearing and Speech Agency is pleased to introduce Beverly and Aaron as part of the leadership of the Board of Directors.

Read the full press release here>>

Weinberg Gift to Provide Hearing Aids and Services to Older Adults in Baltimore

The Hearing and Speech Agency was honored with a Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Employee Giving Program gift of $10,000 on July 26, 2011 along with 14 other nonprofit organizations. HASA was nominated for the gift by Yvonne Sporrer, a Weinberg Foundation staff member.

The award, presented at a luncheon at the Pier V Hotel, was accepted by Susan Glasgow, Executive Director. She announced that the donation will help provide audiology services and hearing aids to older adults who are hard of hearing.

Weinberg Foundation presents check to HASA

Susan Glasgow and Helen Snyder at Weinberg Foundation Luncheon

   Olga Polites and Audiologist Sun Young Lee

Some astounding facts

  • Eighteen percent of adults in the United States experience hearing difficulty.
  • Hearing loss can interfere with education, employment opportunities and interpersonal communication and many elderly people struggle with isolation, health care and depression.
  • Audiologic rehabilitation promotes successful hearing aid use and improves communication and psychosocial functioning, but many elderly people can't afford treatment.
  • Hearing aids have proven effective in alleviating the communicative and psychosocial consequences of hearing loss in adults.
  • Effects are most pronounced in the areas of social, emotional and communicative function and remain one year after sustained hearing aid use.
  • Hearing aids represent a relatively inexpensive intervention for the amount of benefit gained.

Gateway School named one of the largest Special Needs Schools in the Baltimore area

The Baltimore Business Journal (April 13 issue) listed Gateway School as one of the 25 largest special needs schools in the Baltimore area, as ranked by 2010 -2011 enrollment.  Students are ages 3-12. Gateway School offers a language-based curriculum for students with a variety of communication differences, such as:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Developmental Delay
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Speech/Language Challenges
  • Other Health Impairments that Affect Communication

Gateway at a Glance

Gateway School, founded in 1960, is a nonpublic, coeducational facility for students ages 3 through 12 with communication disorders related to autism, developmental delay, hearing impairment, other speech, language or health impairment. Our new, state-of-the-art campus offers bright classrooms equipped with sound-field systems and personal FM systems, speech-language therapy rooms, a library, computer lab, auditorium, gymnasium and playground.

Each Gateway student has an individualized education plan to guide his/her team of professionals, which may include: 

  • Special education teacher 
  • Teacher of the Deaf
  • Instructional assistant
  • Speech-language pathologist
  • Social worker
  • Audiologist 
  • Behavior specialist
  • Occupational and/or physical therapist 
  • Psychologist 
  • School nurse 

Related service professionals provide intensive therapeutic intervention to support the student’s participation in the educational program. 

Interested in a tour?  More information?  Just let us know here>>

HASA Clinical Director quoted for Baltimore's Child article

Baby & Toddler - April 2011
What are the skills that lead to language?

By Elizabeth Heubeck
There's nothing quite like hearing your baby utter "Mama" or "Dada" for the first time. These words, which very often are the first that parents hear from their baby's mouth, mark the beginning of what we adults consider "real" language. But the seeds of communication start long before babies say their first intelligible word.

In fact, babies begin building communication skills as soon as they're born, explains Olga Polites, director of Clinical Services at Baltimore's Hearing and Speech Agency. She offers a general timeline of when these precursor skills to speech develop, as well as ways that parents can encourage them. Birth to 6 Months Infants learn very early on in life the power of communication, explains Polites. In the first few months, babies figure out that when they make a sound, they get a reaction. In simpler terms, a baby cries, and normally those cries are answered by a responsive adult fairly quickly. In addition to the urgent form of communication that is crying, vocal play also emerges in the first few months of life. This usually entails vowel-like sounds, followed by the sounds of "m," "p," and "d," which, according to Polites, are easiest to imitate.

Over the next few months, babies’ crying "matures," if you will.

According to Polites, they learn to vary the tone of their voice, allowing them to express different feelings. Subsequently, discerning parents often begin to learn the difference between a cry that signals mild discomfort—such as hunger, fatigue, or boredom—and more serious distress, such as the pain from a new tooth breaking through a baby’s gum.

As crying becomes more sophisticated, so too does vocal play. Parents may notice their babies making the silly sound often called raspberries, involving vibrating lips and a lot of superfluous spit. "These noises are very much reinforced by parents," Polites says. Ages 6 to 9 Months During this period comes more experimentation with vocal play. Babies will often begin to babble, repeating a single syllable in one breath such as "bbbbbbb."

"It doesn’t have a lot of meaning," says Polites. "It’s just play."

As the muscles of their mouths strengthen, babies realize they are able to make these fun sounds. The more encouragement they receive—from older kids and adults who laugh and mimic the babbling—the more confident they get in their babbling, and the more they’re likely to experiment.

Ages 9 to 12 Months During this time, babies typically attempt to imitate words.

Polites says, "They babble longer strings of sound that soon become words."

While the first word that comes tumbling out of the mouth of a baby is often (to parents’ great delight) "Mama" or "Dada," Polites says it has nothing to do with the infant’s ability to accurately identify his or her caregivers. Rather, she explains, the "d" and the "m" happen to be sounds that are fairly easy for these new talkers to make.

But this advanced vocal play soon takes on new meaning, as babies make a connection between their calls of "Mama" and the appearance of their mother. When you break down the multiple steps that occur before the first words come out of a baby’s mouth, it becomes evident that the development of language does not simply happen overnight. And just as an infant must build up to this exciting milestone, parents can do their part to encourage the arrival and continuation of speech. "Talk to your child," Polites says. "It needs to be almost an obsession. The more language they hear, the more they’re comfortable with it, and the more they learn.BC Tips for Talking to Babies So They’ll Talk Back Olga Polites, director of Clinical Services at Baltimore's Hearing and Speech Agency, offers the following suggestions:

Talk to babies about everything, such as what you see around you and what you hear.

Use language that’s appropriate and not too elevated.

Read to your child early and often.

© Baltimore’s Child Inc. April 2011

Audiologist Julie Norin quoted for Baltimore's Child Article

 

Musical Notes
Play MP3s safe—and low


By Joyce Heid
March 2011


First introduced to the public in the 1970s, the portable stereo, otherwise called a boom box, achieved the height of its popularity in the 1980s. Some boom boxes were as large as three feet long and could play music so loudly that parents implored their teenagers to, "Turn that music down, or you’ll go deaf!"

Today, you would be hard-pressed to find a teenager carrying a stereo on his or her shoulder. Instead, he or she is carrying an MP3 player in a pocket. And it's not just teenagers who are carrying these players; even preteens are part of what is often called the MP3 Generation, with ear buds replacing speakers and tiny digital audio players replacing giant boom boxes.


Jeremy, 14, and Makenzie, 11, are part of the MP3 Generation, each having their own iPod. Their mother, Rene Kraft, of Pasadena, remembers listening to loud music through huge stereo speakers when she was their age. She says that, even though her children's iPods may be smaller, she knows the danger of hearing loss is still there. That’s why Kraft has imposed strict limits on their use, saying, "If it doesn’t get turned down, it gets taken away."

Julie Norin is a doctor of audiology with the Hearing and Speech Agency in Baltimore. Norin believes that children today may very well be at a greater risk due to the excessive noise exposure starting at such young ages. "Excessive noise exposure will definitely contribute to any potential age-related hearing loss down the road," says Norin. She explains how sound can damage a child’s hearing. "Most people are not aware that noise actually increases in sound pressure level when it reaches the ear, travels through the ear canal, and reaches the inner ear. This is to ensure that sound is able to travel through the fluid of the inner ear and reach the hair cells at a strong enough level to stimulate the auditory nerve at normal hearing levels," she explains. "The hair cells are responsible for releasing neurotransmitters that stimulate the auditory nerve, sending the signal to the brain. All of the structures [ear canal, eardrum, middle ear bones, hair cells, and auditory nerve] have to be functioning well in order for sound to reach the brain at normal hearing levels. "When the auditory system is exposed to sound at hazardous levels, it essentially becomes too much for the auditory system to handle," Norin continues. "An impulse sound, such as gunfire or explosion, can cause the eardrum to burst, or the hair cells within the cochlea (a spiral tube forming part of the inner ear, which is the essential organ of hearing) can weaken, bend, break, or disintegrate if the sound pressure level is too strong. When this happens—whether it is exposure over long-term, such as from improper use of an MP3 player or exposure to an impulse sound—the structures within the auditory system can no longer function at full capacity, which causes a decrease in the ability to hear at normal levels."


Keep It Down

Volume-limiting ear buds also can be used with other devices that use headphones, such as DVD players and handheld gaming systems. Norin also urges parents to limit the length of time their child uses an MP3 player, just as they would limit exposure to television or the computer. She warns that MP3 players can be used as long as 12 hours before needing to be recharged, but ear damage can occur in as little as 15 or 20 minutes if the volume is up too high. Finally, she asks parents if they’ve noticed their child playing the television at a higher volume than usual, talking louder than is customary, or asking him or her to repeat what they’ve just said. If you suspect that your child already may be developing a hearing loss, Norin says to contact an audiologist and schedule an appointment to have your child’s hearing evaluated. In fact, even without symptoms, Norin says, "I recommend to any concerned parents, to have their child’s hearing tested whether they suspect a hearing loss or not, in order to establish a baseline. And then, at the very least, return for annual hearing tests to monitor for any changes." BC © Baltimore’s Child Inc. March 2011

Weather-Related Closings

The Hearing and Speech Agency follows the Baltimore City Public School System delay and closure schedule for inclement weather, including snow, icy conditions and high winds. We will remain open if the Baltimore City Public School System closes for a heat advisory because our building is air conditioned.

Please be advised that the city school decision can change throughout the morning or day.

If the Baltimore City Public School System is closed, the HASA building is closed and all Clinical Services appointments are cancelled.

If the Baltimore City Public School System opens one hour late, our HASA building will open at 9 a.m. so that staff can arrive and prepare for students and clients at 9:30 a.m. Clinical Services appointments scheduled before 9:30 a.m. will be cancelled.

If the Baltimore City Public School System opens two hours late, our HASA building will open at 10 a.m. and school and services start at 10:30 a.m. Clinical Services appointments scheduled before 10:30 a.m. will be cancelled.

If the Baltimore City Public School System closes one hour early, our school dismisses early and classes in the HASA building are cancelled. The Clinical Services department will stop providing services at 2:00 p.m. Clinical Services appointments scheduled at 2:00 p.m. or later will be cancelled.

If the Baltimore City Public School System closes two hours early, our school dismisses early and classes in the HASA building are cancelled. The Clinical Services department will stop providing services at 1:00 p.m. Clinical Services appointments scheduled at 1:00 p.m. or later will be cancelled. 

If the Baltimore City Public School System announces that after-school activities are cancelled, there will be no evening activities and our HASA building will close at 5 p.m. The Clincial Services department will stop providing services at 4:30 p.m. Appointments scheduled at 4:30 p.m. or later will be cancelled. 

Keeping Dad on Top of his Game

Hearing and Speech Agency’s staff help people see the light about hearing aids.

B y R o b i n T. R e i d, Urbanite Magazine

Julie Norin spends a lot of time helping people to see as well as hear. The 40-year-old fits patients with hearing aids, perceived as cumbersome attributes of old age. But once they see how sleek and efficient today’s hearing aids are, not to mention how much better they sound, the stigma usually vanishes.

 

“Twenty years ago, hearing aids were awful,” Norin says. “Technology has changed so drastically that it’s like comparing an eight-track tape with an iPod. Speech clarity is so much better, and many hearing aids are invisible or resemble hightech phones or listening devices.

 

“You have to explain this with some urgency,” she continues, “but you can’t make people do something they’re not ready to do. It’s a balancing act.” One such balancing act hit close to home for Norin. Her father, Edward Spitz, was showing signs of hearing loss several years ago, but was most definitely not interested in getting hearing aids.

 

“Only in his 60s, he thought he would look old,” she recalls. “He didn’t recognize his TV was louder or that we had to repeat things in conversation all the time. I was concerned that he was missing major parts of conversation and filling in too many gaps with what he thought he heard, which is something people do when they have a hearing loss.” To Spitz, he wasn’t the problem; everyone else was. “Everyone around me mumbled,” he recalls.

 

His opinion changed in November. While on a riverboat cruise in Europe, he and his wife became friendly with a man slightly his junior who used hearing aids. “And he was happy to have them,” Spitz adds. “He had more fun than I did.” Upon return, Spitz visited his daughter at HASA to be fitted with hearing aids. “We talked about what was most important to him in terms of style and technology, which is what I do with every patient,” Norin says. “I ask about situations in which they struggle to hear. Background noise is usually the culprit.”

 

Spitz chose a small device that fits behind his ear and is almost invisible. The first night he used it, Norin was thrilled, yet not surprised, that he could hear her perfectly well, even when they sat down together in a crowded restaurant. Helping her father was yet another reinforcement for Norin that she’d chosen the right field—and the right employer. The former advertising sales executive returned to school six years ago after she’d spent some time with a speech pathologist.

 

“My eldest son was diagnosed with apraxia when he was 2; he was unable to talk,” she says. “I was so appreciative of his speech pathologist and the difference she made in our lives that I went back to school to study speech pathology.” She veered into audiology soon afterward partly because she liked the gadgetry involved. “As a kid I liked to take things apart,” she explains. “I’m the one who programs all the electronics at home. I’m a gadget girl.”

  

And that’s her nickname at HASA, where she is an audiology extern—her title until she receives her doctorate in May. Originally established in 1926 as a community center for the hard-of-hearing, the nonprofit agency provides comprehensive audiology services, speech therapy, occupational therapy for children, and sign language interpreters. Also within the state-of-the-art facility is the Gateway School for children with communication disorders. Audiology fees are based on income. And that is one of the reasons Norin enjoys working for HASA.

 

“Because we offer clinical services and hearing aids on a sliding scale, we are able to help patients on a fixed income,” she says. “I don’t know of any other place in the area that does that. We also participate in the Hear Now Program, run through Starkey, a hearing aid manufacturer [that provides the latest hearing aids to people who otherwise could not afford them]. We are able to do what we love: work with patients and make hearing aids affordable.”

 

In addition to Starkey, HASA works with all of the major hearing aid manufacturers, something Norin says other clinics don’t always do.

 

“I like the flexibility in what we offer our patients,” she explains. “One patient came to us because the last audiologist he worked with only carried one manufacturer, so he was limited to their products. We work with that manufacturer too, but my patient was able to choose hearing aids from another manufacturer based on not only price, but also what the hearing aids could do for him.”

 

Norin is also passionate about hearing protection. She has fit many patients with musician’s earplugs, as well as other types of custom hearing protection devices, which she says are important “for protection from noise created by everyday items, including power tools.” “I went into this field to help people,” she continues. “If I was going to dedicate my time, I wanted to feel like there was a greater purpose.”

 

And of course, she adds, “I love gadgets.”

Gateway School Turns 50!

Gateway School's 50th Birthday party was a resounding success! Alumni, donors, parents and staff all gathered together to enjoy a performance by Gateway Students and a beautiful and delicious Charm City cake!  You can see pictures and video from the event on our Facebook page.

Thank you to Myrna Cardin and Senator Lisa Gladden for being part of our festivities and to the following generous sponsors:

Advanced Business Systems - The Document Specialists

The Brickman Group LTD, LLC

Grant & Associates, Inc.

Mutual of America

Patient First

The Resh Company

Hearing and Speech AgencyHarry and Jeanette Weinberg Building 5900 Metro Drive Baltimore, MD 21215 410.318.6780