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10/14/2017  |   9:45 AM - 11:00 AM   |  West Ballroom at Shalala Student Services Building

Listening and Spoken Language in Low Resource Communities: Data and Resources

Thirty-two million children have hearing loss (WHO, 2017). Sixty percent of hearing loss in low resource countries is preventable and so it is understandable that focused effort should continue to be place on hearing loss prevention. Still, the need to develop communication and language is a strong need for children with hearing loss. Children born deaf or hard of hearing in countries with supports through government systems and access to private resources are being found at increasingly earlier ages. For example, it is now commonplace in the United States for children to be identified during the first few weeks and months of life (JCIH, 2007). Successful newborn screening programs exist in many “high resource” nations as do audiology testing, hearing aids, and cochlear implants (WHO, 2010). But what happens to children and families after identification and fitting of amplification? The presenter will provide data from a recent survey (AG Bell, 2017) regarding services to children from diverse family backgrounds to help answer questions about resources, effective practices and strategies that may be put into place for children to develop language skills in “low and middle resource” countries? This interactive session will offer answers to these questions and encourage attendees to think about potential intervention solutions for children, parents and professionals by mining connections that may be more available now than in the past. Attendees will identify resources that may be useful to individuals they serve in low and middle resource countries.

  • The learner will gain an appreciation of current availability of listening and spoken language services worldwide
  • The learner will understand best practice principles of direct early intervention services and brainstorm ideas on how to put these principles in place in low-resource communities
  • The learner will know what resources are available for development of listening and spoken language in children who are deaf or hard of hearing

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Gayla Guignard (POC,Primary Presenter), Alexander Graham Bell Association,;
Gayla Guignard is the Chief Strategy Officer for the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Gayla is an audiologist, speech-language pathologist and certified Listening and Spoken Language professional. Prior to returning to AG Bell in 2015, Gayla was the Early Hearing Detection & Intervention (EHDI) Coordinator for the State of Indiana following two years as the inaugural director of Indiana's legislated Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education. . Ms. Guignard is also the mother of a young adult with special needs who has recently transitioned from school to postsecondary services. Please join me in welcoming Ms. Gayla Hutsell Guignard.


Financial - Receives Salary for Employment from Gayla Guignard/AG Bell.  

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.


Financial - Receives support from AG Bell.