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Webinar Series for Professionals – Deaf Plus: Addressing the Needs of Students with Hearing Loss and Additional Challenges

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Participants will learn about the current research, challenges and best practices for serving students who have hearing loss and additional disabilities.

This webinar will begin by examining the prevalence and wide range of additional disabilities that can co-occur with hearing loss. At least 40% of children who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) have additional disabilities (DHH Plus). We will examine the reasons for this high percentage and the risk factors for additional disabilities that are often, but not always, associated with childhood hearing loss. Due to newborn hearing screening, hearing loss may be the first disability identified and the recognition and diagnosis of additional special needs may be significantly delayed. In other cases, identification of hearing loss can be delayed when it is part of a complex medical or developmental condition. We will then consider some of the challenges for diagnosis and provision of appropriate services. Few professionals have the knowledge, experience and skills necessary to address both the hearing and the diverse additional needs of children who are DHH Plus and, similarly, few diagnostic, educational and therapeutic programs are designed to address these complex needs. Children who are DHH Plus require specialized expertise from an expanded educational and therapeutic team and we will examine the educational placement considerations and best practices that support children’s optimal development and academic achievement. We will then hear brief interviews with professionals, parents and the students themselves about their own experiences and their recommendations for effective ways to support students who are DHH Plus and their families.

Who Should Attend

Webinar Details:

Thank you to our sponsor!

Registration Is Open

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Professionals will:


Barbara Hecht, PhD

Barbara Hecht Headshot

Barbara Hecht, PhD

National Director of Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships, Clarke

Barbara F. Hecht, PhD is the National Director of Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships at Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech. She served for the past 11 years as director of Clarke Boston and of Clarke’s tVISIT early intervention teleservice program. Dr. Hecht received her bachelor’s degree in Linguistics and Psychology from Harvard University and her doctorate in Linguistics and Child Language Development from Stanford University. Dr. Hecht has worked with families of young children with hearing loss and has trained parents, teachers, speech-language pathologists, pediatricians and other professionals for almost 30 years. Prior to joining Clarke, she was president of the John Tracy Clinic (JTC) center for young deaf and hard of hearing children and their families, a member of the Special Education faculty at UCLA, and a clinical faculty member at the University of Southern California, the University of San Diego and California State University, Los Angeles. Dr. Hecht serves on state and national deaf and hard of hearing boards, task forces and research advisory groups and is a co-writer of the 2018 Edition of Optimizing Outcomes for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: Education Service Guidelines published by the National Association of State Directors of Special Education. 

Contributing Sponsor

Alexanna Rodgers, MS, CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT

Med-El Contributing Sponsor

Alexanna Rodgers, MS, CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT

Senior Consumer Engagement Manager for the Northeast US, MED-EL

Alexanna graduated from Penn State University in 2011 and later received her master’s in Speech and Hearing Sciences in 2013 from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. During her graduate studies, she developed a passion for working with infants and toddlers with hearing loss and their families. Alexanna spent the first five years of her career as an early intervention therapist first in Chicago, IL and later in Pittsburgh, PA her hometown where she currently resides. Alexanna joined MED-EL in 2017 and is now a Senior Consumer Engagement Manager for the Northeast US. Alexanna spends the majority of her time building relationships with and counseling patients and families who are MED-EL hearing implant candidates. As those patients and families become MED-EL recipients, she assists in optimizing use of their technology, and ensuring related hearing-health professionals are confident with MED-EL equipment and resources. 


Request accommodations from the list below by filling out the form. Kindly submit all accommodation requests by Oct 31, 2022. 

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