Our 2019 Sponsors will be featured here!


Save the Date: October 24 and 25, 2019

This year's theme is "Invest in Their Future"

We are excited to announce that Clarke's 40th Conference on Mainstreaming Children with Hearing Loss will be held on October 24 and 25, 2019, at the Hartford/Windsor Marriott Airport in Windsor, Connecticut. More conference details will be posted as they become available.

Thank you to everyone who submitted workshop or learning lab proposals. The conference committee is currently reviewing all submissions and you will be contacted in the near future.

About Last Year's Conference

The 39th Conference on Mainstreaming Students with Hearing Loss brought together professionals, teachers, parents, researchers and so many others to discuss the conference theme: "From Access to Achievement: Empowering Every Child to Succeed in the Mainstream." Learn more about the 39th conference below.

2018 Keynote Speakers/Panels:

"Effective Communication Skills for Interprofessional Conversations: What's in YOUR Toolkit?

Opening Keynote Speaker:

Mary Ellen Nevins, EdD, Professor and Director of Auditory-Based Intervention, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Mary Ellen Nevins, EdD, is an experienced educator of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. She is a professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and is the Director of the Program in Auditory-Based Intervention. Her attention to, and publications regarding professional learning for hearing and speech professionals, complement her longstanding work with children using hearing technologies to listen, talk and read. Nevins is recognized as a national expert on educational issues associated with deaf or hard of hearing children learning to listen and talk and the needs of the professionals with whom they work. Nevins will be sharing her extensive knowledge of interprofessional communication skills with conference attendees.

“Not Fade Away”

Keynote Speaker:

Rebecca Alexander, LCSW-R, MPH, Psychotherapist and Author of Not Fade Away

Rebecca Alexander, LCSW-R, MPH, is a psychotherapist who came to national prominence with the release of her book Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found, in which she shares her journey with vision and hearing loss due to Usher syndrome Type III. Rebecca began losing her vision and hearing as a teenager due to Usher syndrome Type III, a rare genetic disorder. She now has just 10 degrees of vision (a normally-sighted person has 180 degrees), and is completely deaf without the use of her cochlear implants. Rebecca is a Lululemon Athletica Ambassador and an extreme athlete who teaches spin classes and metabolic conditioning. In 2015, Rebecca climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and swam the San Francisco Bay from Alcatraz to shore. She received the 2016 American Foundation for the Blind Helen Keller Achievement Award. In October 2017, Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) honored Rebecca with the Eagle Award at their inaugural gala; in November 2017, she was awarded the Spirit of Leadership award from No Limits for Deaf Children; and in December 2017, she received the University of Michigan Bicentennial Alumni Award. Rebecca will be sharing her story of determination to live a rich and meaningful life while achieving her goals, as well as her advice to professionals and families working with children with hearing loss. Following her talk, Rebecca will be doing a book signing.

"Trekking Through the Hearing World"

Keynote Speaker:

Nolan Gardner, BS Communicative Disorders, Teacher Specialist at The Help Group in Sherman Oaks, CA

As an infant, Nolan was born with a profound bilateral hearing loss and was the first child in California to receive a cochlear implant in 1995 through California Children's Services. Although he was the only one with hearing loss in his family, his mother's determination guided him to grow up in a world full of sounds and to succeed. After attending preschool at John Tracy Clinic, Nolan continued his education fully mainstreamed in the Santa Barbara public school system, and successfully graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor's degree in Communicative Disorders from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Nolan is continuing his education in a new field, Geology, while also working on his GeoTechnical Certification from the Pasadena Community College for a career change. Nolan also competed as the first Cochlear Implant competitor on the popular show, American Ninja Warrior in 2016. Nolan will be sharing his experiences and advice on navigating mainstream schools with a hearing loss.

“Positive Access Experiences and Achievement and Their Impact on Successful Transition to Higher Education: Learning from Deaf and Hard of Hearing College Students”

General Closing Session/Panel Facilitators:

Todd Higgins, MPA, Director, Gallaudet University Regional Center East, Gallaudet University/Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill, MA

For the young deaf or hard of hearing child, family is the most significant influence on their development and provides a foundation for positive social-emotional, self-advocacy, cognitive and linguistic development which leads to positive access experience and achievement. The panelists, several deaf and hard of hearing college students who recognize the importance of their formative years and appreciate the support of their families in their own developmental journeys, will share their personal experiences growing up in a variety of family situations. They will also share their thoughts on their upbringing and the environmental factors and systems that influenced and shaped who they are today, especially how they received positive access experience, which resulted in their successful achievement that eventually had an impact on their transition to college. The audience will have the opportunity to ask questions following the conclusion of the panel discussion, and will leave with practical information that can be applied to their deaf and hard of hearing children and/or students.

Mainstream Conference Features

  • Educational workshops covering the many facets of hearing loss and its implications for learning – topics include atresia, dual language learning, classroom listening and acoustics, writing strategies for children with hearing loss, collaboration with regular education teachers, bullying prevention, educational evaluations for students with hearing loss, mainstream placement in preschool children, working memory deficits and early math skills
  • A learning lab on MED-EL technology
  • New! "Mix & Mingle" Social Hour for conference attendees, presenters and exhibitors
  • An Exhibit Hall showcasing the latest products, technology and services
  • An Itinerant Round Table designed for itinerant teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing
  • Short Course designed for classroom teachers - with a student with hearing loss for the first time!
  • Short course designed to prepare families and professionals for IEP meetings

Making Connections! Program

The "Making Connections!" Program will be offered to students in grades 7-12 with hearing loss who are attending mainstream schools. Since 2003 this program has brought together teens from across the country, many of whom are the only students in their schools with a hearing loss. This year, the program will be co-led by American Ninja Warrior contestant Nolan Gardner! Emily Plant, Clarke itinerant teacher of the deaf in her sixth year of teaching, will coordinate and co-lead the program with Nolan. Connect with Clarke and other attendees of Making Connections on the Facebook event page!

Professionals Can Earn:

  • American Academy of Audiology (AAA) CEUs
  • A.G. Bell Academy of Listening and Spoken Language (LSLS) CEUs
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) CEUs
  • CT State Department of Education CEUs
  • A Certificate of Participation that can be used to earn MA Professional Development Points (PDPs)
  • PA Department of Education Act 48
  • Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) CEUs

See conference brochure for more specific CEU information.

Return to this page often for regular conference updates. Please call 413-587-7313 or email with questions.