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Conference on Mainstreaming Children with Hearing Loss

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After much discussion and analysis of the current pandemic, Clarke’s 2020 Conference on Mainstreaming Children with Hearing Loss (CMC), scheduled to take place October 22-23 in Marlborough, MA, is canceled.

We acknowledge the existing challenges and those to come, with regard to speaker commitments, travel and the investment of resources for all those involved. With so much uncertainty, our most prudent course of action is to cancel the event.

Clarke CMC is proud to be a source of knowledge and inspiration, where families, educators and practitioners can come together to collaborate and strengthen the outcomes for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. We are steadfast in our mission and look forward to safer times ahead when this passionate community can share ideas, research and experiences to enhance the lives of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Thank you for your patience as we work through this unusual time.

With questions, please contact Caroline Bertrand at


Clarke would like to thank Dr. Michelle Christie and her cast and crew for making the 2019 Silent NO MORE performance possible.

Registered 2019 conference attendees were invited to a ticketed theater performance of life stories shared by individuals with hearing loss - Silent NO MORE. The cast of Silent NO MORE features five-time American Comedy Award nominee and two-time conference keynote speaker Kathy Buckley (the award-winning PBS special No Labels, No Limits) and acclaimed author and 2018 conference keynote speaker Rebecca Alexander (author of Not Fade Away). To learn more about the organization that powers Silent NO MORE, visit

View Photos from the 2019 Conference!

Clarke's 40th Conference on Mainstreaming Children with Hearing Loss

2019 Keynote Speakers/Opening and Closing Sessions

“Silent NO MORE”

Michelle Christie, Ms.Ed., CCC, Ed.D, Founder and Executive Director, No Limits for children with hearing loss and families

Michelle Christie will discuss her production of Silent NO MORE, a theater performance comprised of true, awe inspiring stories. Christie is the founder and Executive Director of No Limits for children with hearing loss and families, which is an organization that teaches underserved children with hearing loss and their families the skills to succeed in school and in life through its after-school educational centers and distinguished theater arts program, promoting advocacy and awareness worldwide. Christie’s keynote will include a “teaser” of her production Silent NO MORE. The cast features five-time American Comedy Award nominee and two-time conference keynote speaker Kathy Buckley (the award-winning PBS special No Labels, No Limits) and acclaimed author and 2018 conference keynote speaker Rebecca Alexander (Not Fade Away). Christie will do a book signing of her book, Silent NO MORE, at various times during the conference as well as after an evening production of Silent NO MORE on Thursday, October 24, 2019. Information regarding how to buy tickets to attend this evening production will be made available at a later date.

“Self-Respect: The Foundation of Leadership”

Drew Dudley, Founder and Chief Catalyst, Day One Leadership, Toronto, ON

Best-known for his TEDx Talk, Everyday Leadership (The Lollipop Moment) and internationally-acclaimed book, This Is Day One: A Practical Guide to Leadership that Matters, Dudley will be speaking to the audience about utilizing self-respect to recognize and create leadership and resiliency for your lives and careers. Dudley has five strategies he lives by and to which he credits living a life of self-respect. He will share these strategies with the audience, as well as how to teach them to their students and children. Select audience members will receive signed copies of his book at the conference.

“Optimizing Outcomes for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing”

Barbara Hecht, PhD, Director, Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech, Boston, MA

Sherri Vernelson, MED, LSLS Cert. AVEd, Section Chief, NC Department of Public Instruction, Exceptional Children Division, Raleigh, NC Adjust Professor, Radford University, Radford, VA

Barbara Hecht is the Director of Clarke Boston. She has worked with families of young children with hearing loss and has educated parents, teachers, pediatricians and other professionals in the field for more than 25 years. Sherri Vernelson is the Section Chief for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing System of Support at the North Carolina Department of Instruction where she oversees the sensory support and assistive technology section, which provides technical assistance to local education agencies to help them build capacity in the programs for children who are deaf and hard of hearing or visually impaired. Join two of the authors of the latest edition of Optimizing Outcomes for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: Education Service Guidelines for an overview and discussion about these new national guidelines published by the National Association of State Directors of Special Education.

“The Listening Project”

Jane Madell, PhD, FAAA, CCC A/SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT, Pediatric Audiology Consulting

Jane Madell is an audiologist, speech-language pathologist, and LSLS auditory verbal therapist, with over 45 years of experience in the field of pediatric hearing loss. Madell, along award winning filmmaker Irene Taylor, made a film called, The Listening Project. The Listening Project is a documentary comprised of interviews with deaf adults in their 20s and 30s. Most of whom were identified to have hearing loss as babies by Madell. Madell will show The Listening Project during this session and answer questions following it.

Additional Conference Features

  • Educational and collaborative workshops covering the many facets of hearing loss, its implications for learning and how those who interact with these children can best help them. Topics include but are not limited to:
    • Strategies to address late intervention
    • Self-advocacy
    • Engaging parents with professionals
    • Audiologists and teachers of the deaf collaborating
    • Social emotional learning thru expressive therapies
    • Teachers of the deaf and classroom teacher collaboration
  • Learning Lab on Cochlear Americas wireless technology
  • Learning Lab on MED-EL internal and external technology
  • Itinerant Round Table
  • Parent Round Table
  • Speech language pathologist and Teachers of the deaf Round Table
  • An Exhibit Hall showcasing the latest products, technology and services
  • Short Course designed for classroom teachers – with a student with hearing loss for the first time
  • The opportunity to attend the theatrical production – Silent NO MORE on Thursday night, October 24, 2019

Making Connections! Program

NEW in 2019 – our Making Connections program is open to students in grades 5-12! While parents attend workshops, students get to spend the entire day with peers learning self-advocacy and social skills in a safe and nurturing environment. Co-facilitated by two of Clarke’s itinerant teachers of the deaf, Emily Snow and Michael Marchetti, this program does not disappoint.

Professionals Can Earn:

  • American Academy of Audiology (AAA) CEUs
  • A.G. Bell Academy of Listening and Spoken Language (LSLS) CEUs
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) CEUs
  • A Certificate of Participation that can be used to earn MA Professional Development Points (PDPs)
  • PA Department of Education Act 48
  • Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) CEUs - however, you must contact MassRID at several days in advance of the conference

Return to this page often for regular conference updates. Please call 413.587.7313 or email with questions.