A special thank you to our conference sponsors:

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38th Annual Conference on Mainstreaming Students with Hearing Loss

Thursday, October 19 and Friday, October 20, 2017

Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel, Marlborough, MA

This year’s conference will once again bring together a remarkable and impressive gathering of professionals, in the field of hearing loss, who will share their knowledge and expertise through a wide variety of inspirational keynotes and informative workshops. Our theme this year is “Supporting Listening, Language & Literacy in the Mainstream Classroom.”

We are thrilled to announce our incredible lineup of keynote speakers:


Opening Keynote Speaker: Carol Flexer, PhD, CCC/A, LSLS Cert.
“Auditory Brain Development: The Foundation of Listening, Language and Pre-Literacy”

Dr. Carol Flexer is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Audiology at the University of Akron. An international lecturer in pediatric and educational audiology and author of more than 155 publications including 14 books, Dr. Flexer is a past president of the Educational Audiology Association, the American Academy of Audiology, and the AG Bell Academy for Listening and Spoken Language. For her research and advocacy for children with hearing loss, Dr. Flexer has received four prestigious awards: the Volta Award and the Professional of the Year Award from The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the 2012 Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Academy of Audiology and the 2015 EHHS Hall of Fame Distinguished Alumni Award from Kent State University.

Dr. Flexer’s presentation will highlight the pivotal role of auditory brain development in the acquisition of spoken communication and literacy for all children. The exciting news emphasized in this talk is that appropriate early and continuing auditory interventions that capitalize on brain neuroplasticity, auditory technologies and acoustic accessibility of spoken information in home and school environments allow for spoken language and literacy outcomes never before imagined for infants and children with any type and degree of hearing loss.


Keynote Speaker: Sara Novic, MFA in Fiction and Literary Translation from Columbia University, author of the novel Girl at War, and Asst. Professor of Creative Writing, Stockton University, Galloway, NJ
“Beyond Normal: Inspiring Reading, Writing and Creative Thinking Skills in Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing”

Sara Novic is the author of the novel Girl at War (Random House), which won an American Library Association Alex Award, was a Los Angeles Times book prize finalist, and is currently being translated into 13 languages. She holds an MFA in Fiction and Literary Translation from Columbia University and is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Stockton University in NJ. She lives in Philadelphia. Sara will share her personal experience with hearing loss as a mainstream student and a writing professor at a public university. In addition, Sara will discuss her development as a reader and writer and thoughts about how to inspire literacy and creative expression in children who are deaf or hard of hearing.


Keynote Speaker: Sean Forbes, Bachelor of Science, Rochester Institute of Technology and Co-Founder, The Deaf Professional Arts Network (D-PAN)
“Deaf and Loud”

Sean Forbes is a prolific drummer, songwriter and communicator. Sean became deaf from spinal meningitis when he was just a few months old, and used a hearing aid to listen and ultimately develop a passion for music. The son of two musicians, Sean began playing drums at the age of five. By the age of 10, Sean was also playing guitar and writing his own music. In 2012, Sean released a full-length CD/DVD album titled "Perfect Imperfection" and toured extensively to promote the record. Sean is also the co-founder of The Deaf Professional Arts Network (D-PAN), a nonprofit organization founded to make music and music culture – the predominant shared language and experience of people worldwide – universally accessible by extending its reach to the deaf and hard of hearing. Sean will be sharing his experience in the mainstream , as well as his advice to parents and professionals supporting students with hearing loss. He will conclude his remarks with a live musical performance.


Special conference features include:

  • “Making Connections!” day-long program for students with hearing loss in grades 7–12 to make new friends and meet Sean Forbes - a prolific drummer, songwriter and communicator who was a student of mainstream schools.
  • Opportunity to purchase Educational Products developed by Clarke Mainstream Services
  • Round Table for Itinerant Teachers!
  • Educational Learning Labs
  • An Exhibit Hall showcasing the latest products, technology and services
  • Short Course designed for classroom teachers

Professionals can earn professional development credits from:
American Academy of Audiology (AAA)
AG Bell Academy (LSLS)
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
CT State Department of Education
MA Professional Development Points
PA Department of Education ACT 48
Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID)


Registration for the conference will begin in August

If you have any questions in the meantime, please call 413.587.7313 or email fallconference@clarkeschools.org.


The Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel

Offering a special group rate of $129.00 USB for a standard room or $159 for a deluxe room (per night). To guarantee this rate, make your reservation by September 29, 2017.

Make your Reservation now

(click on the "Group Rate Booking" button and then enter password "Clarke17" below Group Login to access our special rates).