Title: 'The Implications of Bimodal Bilingual Approaches for Young Children with Cochlear Implants'
Track: 3 - Language Acquisition and Development
Keyword(s): cochlear implant, sign language, bimodal bilingual
Learning Objectives:
  1. discuss research findings on the advantages of visual language to a deaf child’s linguistic, communicative, cognitive, academic, literacy and psychosocial development.
  2. discuss research findings documenting the advantages of early visual language foundations on spoken language outcomes post cochlear implantation.
  3. discuss the implications of bimodal bilingual approaches for children with cochlear implants.


This presentation will discuss issues raised in a new research brief titled: The Implications of Bimodal Bilingual Approaches for Children with Cochlear Implants (http://vl2.gallaudet.edu/assets/section7/document205.pdf). This brief, published during Summer, 2012 was developed collaboratively between VL2 (A Science of Learning Center on Visual Language and Visual Learning funded by the National Science Foundation and hosted by Gallaudet University), and the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center. It is part of a series of VL2 briefs developed as a resource for educators and parents to summarize relevant scholarship and present recommendations that educators and parents can use when addressing the multifaceted challenges of educating children who are deaf and hard of hearing. This presentation will discuss the highlights of this brief as it applies to young children. Some of the issues addressed will include a) the advantages of a visual language such as American Sign Language to a child’s linguistic, communicative, cognitive, academic, literacy, and psychosocial development, b) evidence in neuroscience confirming the brain’s ability to learn both visual and spoken language without harm to the development of either language, c) how the development of early competence in a visual language can effectively facilitate a child’s spoken language development, and d) how a bimodal bilingual language and communication approach, which addresses acquisition and use of both a visual and a spoken language, has the potential to foster early language through a child’s vision while also stimulating audition through a cochlear implant. Discussed will be considerations for individualized education and communication planning for young children using this technology. Also addressed will be issues related to the social and linguistics benefits of interaction with the Deaf Community for children with cochlear implants.
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Debra Nussbaum - POC,Co-Presenter
Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center
     Credentials: M.A. CCC-A Audiology, George Washington University
      Debra Nussbaum is manager of projects on language development and communication support at the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center at Gallaudet University. This includes coordination of their Cochlear Implant Education Center (CIEC). She earned her Master’s Degree in Audiology from George Washington University and has worked at the Clerc Center since 1977; first as a pediatric audiologist and then managing projects related to language and communication for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. She has spearheaded national efforts in exploring and sharing considerations for facilitating listening and spoken language for children who also use sign (including children with cochlear implants). She has developed numerous resource materials and professional training workshops, and speaks nationally and internationally on this topic. She has been chair of the DC Hears Intervention Committee since 2001, where she has coordinated early intervention supports in the District of Columbia’s newborn infant screening program.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.
Julie Mitchiner - Co-Presenter
Gallaudet University
     Credentials: Ph.D
      Julie Mitchiner, Ph.D is an assistant professor in the Education Department at Gallaudet University with a primary focus on Early Childhood Education. She previously taught at Kendall Demonstration Elementary School at the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center in their bilingual ASL/English Early Childhood Program. Julie completed her Ph.D in Education at George Mason University with a specialization in Early Childhood Education and a secondary concentration in multicultural/multilingual education. Her dissertation focused on exploring the beliefs of deaf families who have young children with cochlear implants related to language development in ASL and English.

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Nonfinancial -