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Pennsylvania Professional Development Workshop 2017

A Journey through the Science of Sound and Language

SAVE THE DATE! October 6, 2017 at the Sheraton Valley Forge

This workshop, a collaborative effort between Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech in Philadelphia, Hearing First and Lydia Denworth, is an exciting new platform that will provide participants an opportunity to engage with one another to inspire new thinking, to apply brain science and increase their effectiveness with the children and families they serve.


Lydia Denworth

Lydia Denworth is a freelance journalist and the author of I Can Hear You Whisper: An Intimate Journey through the Science of Sound and Language (Dutton, 2014). Called “luminous” and “indispensible” by Publishers Weekly, and covered by The New York Times, The Washington Post, CBS, NPR, People, Vanity Fair, and many others, the book recounts Denworth’s exploration of hearing, language, and Deaf culture after she discovered that her youngest son couldn’t hear. It’s a story that weaves together memoir, science and cultural history, and takes readers to the edge of all that is known about the exquisite relationship between sound and the brain. Denworth is also the author of Toxic Truth: A Scientist, A Doctor, and the Battle over Lead (Beacon Press, 2009).

In addition to her books, Denworth writes the “Brain Waves” blog for Psychology Today, and her work has appeared in Scientific American, Parents, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, and many other publications. She is a former Newsweek reporter, bureau chief for People, and professor of journalism at Fordham University.


Hearing First is an educational endeavor of the Oberkotter Foundation. It launched in October 2015 based on the premise that hearing is a foundational building block for children to learn to listen and talk, become healthy readers and do well in school. Through collaborative efforts, our activities are dedicated to ensuring that children who are deaf or hard of hearing have opportunities to reach their full potential. Hearing First recognizes that families and professionals are partners when it comes to improving outcomes for children. The Hearing First website is a multimedia digital experience and connection point designed to link families who have chosen Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) for their children with hearing loss, and the professionals who work with them, with the resources, information, tools, community and learning experiences they need to ensure the children in their lives succeed. To learn more about Hearing First, please view this Hearing First handout


Lydia will present of the following three topics:

I. The Brain and the Science of Sound
II. How Sound turns into Language
III How Language turns into Literacy

Following each of three presentations by Lydia Denworth, Hearing First and Clarke PA will immerse participants in collaborative inquiry and discussion to gain knowledge, insights and strategies to improve listening, spoken language and literacy outcomes for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Participants will also have an opportunity after the workshop to extend their learning by joining in and connecting with other LSL professionals in the Hearing First Professional Learning Community.


8:00 Registration opens
8:30 Presentation begins
9:00- 9:45 Lydia presents: The Brain and the Science of Sound
9:45-10:00 Break
9:45- 10:30 Extended Learning lead by Hearing First
10:30-11:30 Lydia presents: How Sound turns into Language
11:30- 12:30 Lunch
12:30-1:30 Extended Learning lead by Hearing First
1:30-2:15 Lydia presents How Language turns into Literacy
2:15-2:30 Break
2:30-4:00 Extended Learning lead by Hearing First ,Q & A, Wrap up