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September 12, 2010

Clarke to Assist with Groundbreaking Oral Deaf Education Program in Kuwait


September 12, 2010—Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech is delighted to announce its collaboration with The Ishraq Center in Kuwait City, Kuwait. Clarke has been invited to assist with the development of a new program to serve children with cochlear implants between the ages of two and six years old. Until now, there has been no formal program to assist implanted children with developing listening and spoken language in Kuwait.

"Clarke is excited about the opportunity to assist the Ishraq Center with their developing program," said Clarke President Bill Corwin. "It is an honor to have our teachers, audiologists, and speech language pathologists recognized as international experts in oral deaf education and assistive technologies. We look forward to helping the Center create the first ever program serving children with cochlear implants throughout Kuwait."

Dr. Tareq Al Shatti, director of the Center, is also the director of the Speech and Language Program at the University of Kuwait. He learned about Clarke after a family from Kuwait moved to the United States and enrolled their child in a program at the school.  Dr. Al Shatti was impressed by the services offered by Clarke and proposed a partnership between the organizations.

Clarke specialists will be providing training for speech and language pathologists and teachers, as well as performing education and therapy consultations for children who have cochlear implants. These trainings will take place in person and long-distance via videoconferencing. Additionally, Clarke is helping guide the construction of a facility for the Center. "Our goal is to see the center grow to become a model program for the Gulf region," says Dan Salvucci, interim director of the Smith College/Clarke Graduate Program in Teacher Education.

In November, Clarke staff will travel to The Ishraq Center in Kuwait to conduct a series of intensive workshops on audiology, child development and hearing loss. "The Ishraq Center professionals are highly trained as speech language pathologists and they want to understand how their field changes when they work with children who are deaf and hard of hearing," says Salvucci. "In developing this program, their goal was to partner with an internationally recognized program. Both groups are excited about the opportunity to share knowledge and work collaboratively."

The program is scheduled to begin offering services in the fall of 2010.

This collaboration is a further expansion of Clarke's services both in the U.S. and abroad to help develop more programs to help children who are deaf and hard of hearing acquire listening and spoken language skills.