Presenter Information:
Presenter 1: Name: Donna Sorkin
Donna Sorkin, M.A. is Vice President, Consumer Affairs at Cochlear Americas. In that capacity, she leads a range of activities at Cochlear aimed at the broad life needs of people with hearing loss including Cochlear’s widely acclaimed HOPE program on (re)habilitation for children and adults and their families. Donna was executive director of Self Help for Hard of Hearing People (now Hearing Loss Association of America) from 1993 to 1999 and she served as executive director of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing from 1999 to 2001. She was appointed by President Clinton to the U.S. Access Board in 1994 and served two terms. She served on the National Institute on Deafness (National Institutes of Health) Advisory Board and has advised numerous U.S. businesses on accessibility for people with disabilities. She has been an enthusiastic cochlear implant user since 1992.
Author Information:
Author 1: Name: Donna Sorkin
Affiliation: Cochlear Americas
Author 2: Name: Nancy Caleffe-Schenck
Affiliation: Auditory-Verbal Services, Inc.
Author 3: Name: Dian Baker
Affiliation: Texas Children's Hospital Cochlear Implant Program
Abstract Information:
Title: Speech Sounds: An Auditory Habilitation Tool to Promote Spoken Language
Primary Track: 3-Early Intervention
Keyword(s): speech development, parental role, habilitation,


The object of this tool is to assist early intervention professionals and parents of young children who are deaf and hard of hearing to promote spoken language development. 'Speech Sounds' consists of units for 20 English consonant sounds. The tool is used as a supplement to the developmental way children learn speech sounds. The individual Speech Sound units can be utilized by professionals to plan therapy sessions and classroom activities. Parents are encouraged to use the units as a resource for active and effective home carry-over. The rehab tool is best used for children ages 1 to 5 years who have an auditory foundation and are able to listen, attend to, and discriminate if sounds are the same or different. Speech Sounds is designed for children who can already produce vowels and can imitate vocalizations upon request. The underlying premise of Speech Sounds is that since a child learns speech through listening, it is fundamental to consider the basics of speech acoustics. As parents utilize the suggested activities at home, they are able to encourage and track their child’s progress and report back to their therapist in a consistent and meaningful way. Children learn to talk by saying what they hear and hearing what they say, a phenomenon that is referred to as the “auditory feedback loop.” Children who are deaf and use cochlear implants are capable of developing natural sounding voices and spoken language when they learn speech through listening rather than looking. As a child’s first teacher, parents have a key role in this developmental process with guidance from a professional, in continuing meaningful input at home and throughout the child’s day.
Presentation(s): Not Available
Handouts: Not Available