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November 10, 2014

It’s Never Too Early to Plan for a Successful Summer!


November 10, 2014—Check out Clarke Mainstream Services’ new summer resource! Claire Troiano, director of Clarke Mainstream Services is excited to tell you about our latest educational product, "School’s Out! Creating Successful Summer Experiences for Children with Hearing Loss."

Over the years, parents have asked Clarke Mainstream Services staff for advice on making summer activities successful for children with hearing loss. Taking parents’ questions to heart, Melissa Griswold, M.E.D., Clarke mainstream teacher of the deaf and information outreach specialist, developed this new resource. "School’s Out! Creating Successful Summer Experiences for Children with Hearing Loss" follows the same principles that are at the core of the center’s work during the school year: advanced planning, sharing information, raising awareness and involving the child in the process make a significant difference. One of the great things about summer activities is that they offer a break from the demands of the school year. At the same time, the more informal nature of summer programs can mean less structure and predictability, which can make communication tougher to follow. Parent reports of children coming home with partial understanding of what they were involved in were a concern. It wasn’t that summer instructors were insensitive or incapable of working with their child with hearing loss, in fact the opposite was true. Rather, they just knew very little about hearing loss, hearing aid and cochlear implant technology, and how to utilize effective communication strategies. Camp directors and counselors, librarians, volunteer assistants, coaches, art and dance instructors and more are able to do a much better job with a basic understanding of hearing loss and what makes communication most successful for a particular child.

This resource presents ideas with younger children in mind, roughly five to 12 years old. It incorporates situation-specific suggestions, as well as general tips that can be adapted to fit large and small scale pursuits—from the occasional activity at the local library or recreation center to overnight camp and everything in between. First-hand accounts from parents, former campers with hearing loss, counselors and camp directors are inserted throughout, all of which offer practical advice on working with staff in a positive, encouraging way that does not overwhelm a person who is new to hearing loss. Pages are also designed to be photocopied and shared with summer staff as needed.

Clarke Mainstream Services gratefully acknowledges sponsorship from The Oticon Foundation which made this project possible.

To order your copy of "School’s Out! Creating Successful Summer Experiences for Children with Hearing Loss," visit Clarke's Educational Products Store

To learn more about our services and how we can support your child with hearing loss in the mainstream, visit www.clarkeschools.org.