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September 26, 2011

Clarke Mainstream Services To Host The Literacy Puzzle: The 32nd Annual Conference on Mainstreaming Students with Hearing Loss

September 26, 2011—The Literacy Puzzle: The 32nd Annual Conference on Mainstreaming Students with Hearing Loss, will take place on October 20-21, 2011 at the Sheraton Springfield at Monarch Place in Springfield, MA. The conference is hosted by Clarke Mainstream Services, which provides direct service and professional support to students with hearing loss, their families and schools through consulting and itinerant teaching services. This past school year, more than 1,900 educators, teachers-in-training, parents and specialists benefited from Clarke Mainstream Services workshops, publications and Comprehensive Educational Evaluations.

Each year, Clarke Mainstream Services hosts this two-day fall conference to provide information on hearing loss and how to maximize success for students, parents and professionals in mainstream settings. The only conference of its kind in the United States, anyone who works with a deaf or hard of hearing student who listens, speaks and uses the English language will benefit from attending.

Claire Troiano, Director of Clarke Mainstream Services said, “Initially started as a way to help regular classroom teachers learn about the needs of students with hearing loss, the conference has since grown to be a national and international event-- attracting a diverse group of educators and parents.  Our presenters come from around the country and Canada, and are well-known experts in the field of deaf education. They are able to demonstrate--in very practical ways--how to apply their knowledge and research to their every day work with children with hearing loss."

"This is my 5th year traveling from Long Island to attend this conference and it gets better each year,” said an attendee from last year’s conference. “The workshops provide me with invaluable new skills and renewed energy for the coming year."

The conference will begin with keynote speaker, Kathleen Treni, M.Ed, MA, President of the Alexander Graham Bell Association, who will deliver remarks on, “The Changing and Rugged Landscape of Mainstream Education for Students with Hearing Loss.” Another keynote speaker, Susan Elliot, M.A, will deliver remarks entitled, “Welcome to Kindergarten. You FAILED.” As a child, Elliot was diagnosed with a progressive hearing loss, and in 2009 was voted Colorado Teacher of the Year.  Additional sessions will include, “Language and Humor: Setting Up Kids (with hearing loss) for Social Success,” “(Re)Habilitation for Tweens & Teens Post Cochlear Implantation,” and “Putting the Pieces Together: Supporting the Struggling Reader with Hearing Loss.”


The Student Track—a day-long program for students in grades 7-12 with hearing loss—will be led by two Clarke alums, Evan Brunell and Hannah Bartini.  Both are excellent role models and will guide students through a day of fun, adventure and learning, including a special visit to the Basketball Hall of Fame. Brunell is a baseball journalist for CBS Sports and also the President of the Massachusett’s Chapter of AG Bell, and Bartini is a master’s student studying for a degree in Deaf Education at the Smith College/Clarke School Graduate Program in Teacher Education. Remarkable individuals, their stories are compelling and poignant.