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Professionals Statewide Discuss How to Help Students With Hearing Disabilities

HATTIESBURG, MISS. - Educators statewide came to USM's Thad Cochran Center to discuss new teaching techniques for students who suffer from hearing loss. “I have cochlear implants and they have been an incredible technology… I didn't expect to cry,” the Consumer Engagement Manager for MED-EL, Virgi Mills said emotionally when asked about how cochlear implants impacted her life. “Cause they allow me to live my life. They allow me to meet friends in noisy restaurants and have fun, and to talk to my kids on the phone, and to live life again.” Solutions such as cochlear implants are one of the many items the American Speech and Hearing Association and The Children's Center for Communication and Development talked about at today's Child Hearing Loss Summit. “The goal of this event is to bring together professionals from across the state to learn more about how we can improve the services that we provide to our students who have hearing loss,” Educational Audiologist, Dr. Courtney Turner said. Statistics show that students who suffer from hearing loss, have a tendency to fall behind in the classroom. However, Turner says educators can use the following steps to minimize the learning gap. “Things as simple as reducing the background noise in the classroom. Giving the child preferential seating as well as technological accommodations, such as providing them with FM technology that allows them to hear their teachers through their amplification devices, whether that be a cochlear implant or hear aids to overcome the background noise that is typical in classrooms,” Turner said. As of December 2012, there have been more than 300,000 cochlear implants used worldwide.



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