Title: 'Project ASPIRE: Addressing the Achievement Gap for Children Living in Poverty'
Track: -
Keyword(s): health disparities, parent-directed interventions, achievement gap, early intervention
Learning Objectives:
  1. Participants will be able to identify disparities in pediatric hearing loss
  2. Participants will be able to identify inequities in parental language input that contribute to language disparities
  3. Participants will be able to identify the critical components of Project ASPIRE


The universal newborn hearing screen and technological advances in hearing aids and cochlear implants have provided children with hearing loss with the opportunity to achieve outcomes comparable to their typically developing peers. Tragically, children with hearing loss born into poverty do not always have access to these opportunities. Due to the social determinants of health and their persisting effects, these children are separated from their more affluent peers by a significant achievement gap that mirrors the educational achievement gap for typically developing, typically hearing peers. These disparities result in profound consequences for children with hearing loss. For EHDI to succeed in its mission of allowing every child to reach his or her potential, we must all gain a deeper awareness of the disparities among different SES groups and create initiatives that are designed to mitigate them. The clinical and research mission of the University of Chicago Pediatric Hearing loss program is to both research and address these disparities. Our efforts are currently directed towards addressing the inequities of deaf children’s early language experience through the development and testing of Project ASPIRE, an evidence-based, parent-directed Early Intervention program. The Project ASPIRE multimedia program, which includes both authentic parent video and animation examples, provides parents with information and strategies to enrich their children’s early language learning environment in an interactive format. LENA-based linguistic feedback, an essential component for motivating behavior change, is embedded within the interactive curriculum. Examples of the multimedia platform will be shared along with our preliminary research results. The implications for families of all children with hearing loss will be addressed.
Presentation: Watch the Opening Plenary: Project ASPIRE: Addressing the Achievement Gap for Children Living in Poverty
Handouts: Handout is not Available
Dana Suskind - POC,Primary Presenter
University of Chicago Medicine
     Credentials: MD
     Other Affiliations: University of Chicago
      Dr. Suskind is a Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics in the Section of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and directs the Pediatric Cochlear Implantation Program at the University of Chicago. Her research is dedicated to addressing health disparities, specifically early language disparities, through the development of novel multimedia intervention programs that combine parent education with quantitative linguistic feedback. She has conceptualized and initiated development and evaluation of two parent-directed, home-visiting interventions: Project ASPIRE and the Thirty Million Words Project. These interventions, for parents of children with hearing loss and parents of typically developing children respectively, aim to improve child outcomes through parent enrichment of the early language environment.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.

Financial -

Nonfinancial -