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Deaf Education and Hearing Sciences marks 10th anniversary

Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 · Volume: XLVI · Issue: 4

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Assistant professors Sarah B. Ammerman, Ph.D., and Blane Trautwein, Ph.D., (program director) are full-time faculty members in the Deaf Education and Hearing Sciences program. The program is one of only a handful in the U.S. that provides intensive training in helping children with hearing loss develop spoken language through residual hearing, high-powered hearing aids and modern surgical procedures.
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Assistant professors Sarah B. Ammerman, Ph.D., and Blane Trautwein, Ph.D., (program director) are full-time faculty members in the Deaf Education and Hearing Sciences program. The program is one of only a handful in the U.S. that provides intensive training in helping children with hearing loss develop spoken language through residual hearing, high-powered hearing aids and modern surgical procedures.clear graphic

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Contact: Will Sansom, 210-567-2579
Jennifer Rosner, author of the memoir, “If a Tree Falls: A Family’s Quest to Hear and Be Heard,” spoke at a luncheon Feb. 12 commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Deaf Education and Hearing Science (DEHS) program of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

The presentation was held at Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children, a longtime educational partner of the UT Health Science Center.

Family history of hearing loss
After her daughters were born deaf, Rosner discovered a hidden history of deafness in her family going back generations to the Jewish enclaves of Eastern Europe. In her memoir, she shares this history and her own journey into the modern world of deafness, including decisions she and her husband made for their daughters regarding hearing aids, cochlear implants and sign language.

“Every strategy and every resource we learned to help [younger daughter] Juliet ‘hear’ words, we learned from a teacher of the deaf,” Rosner said.

Helping deaf children hear and speak
Assistant Professor Blane Trautwein, Ed.D., directs the Health Science Center’s Deaf Education and Hearing Science Program, part of the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery in the School of Medicine. At the luncheon he discussed the program’s history and future, noting that members of the Deaf Education and Hearing Science Advisory Council, through their generosity, are helping to ensure there will be more generations of teachers for deaf and hearing-impaired children. Several members of the Advisory Council stood when recognized.

“Early identification, improved amplification and early intervention allows children with hearing loss the opportunity to learn spoken language — the natural language of their family,” Dr. Trautwein said.

Sarah B. Ammerman, Ph.D., assistant professor, is the program’s other full-time faculty member. She emceed the luncheon program with Dr. Trautwein. “Words cannot describe the outstanding relationship we have with Sunshine Cottage,” she said.

Preparing future teachers
The Health Science Center’s Deaf Education and Hearing Science Program is one of only a handful of programs in the country that provides intensive training in helping children with hearing loss develop spoken language through residual hearing, high-powered hearing aids and modern surgical procedures. Its primary mission is preparing future deaf education professionals.

Before joining the Health Science Center faculty in 2008, Dr. Trautwein was a teacher and principal at Sunshine Cottage, a center for hearing and speech that promotes listening and spoken language for children from birth through fifth grade.

Dr. Ammerman received her doctorate in special education with a minor in audiology from the University of Arizona. They jointly recognized the program’s adjunct assistant professors for their invaluable contributions.

Deaf Education and Hearing Sciences Program graduate Shelby Borgelt introduced a little girl who is in class at Sunshine Cottage. Borgelt recalled her introduction to the idea of becoming a teacher of the deaf and the year she worked with a classmate to help a young student to learn oral speaking skills. Borgelt worked with the girl in language lab and now is her teacher.

Health Science Center master’s-degree students practice new techniques and teaching skills at Sunshine Cottage and local public schools during student teaching rotations. In addition, master’s students and faculty provide oral language tutoring as part of the program’s reciprocal peer coaching and mentoring curriculum.

“Thank you for all you do for families like mine,” Rosner said to the educators. “It’s a gift.”

Learn more about the Health Science Center’s Deaf Education and Hearing Science program.

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The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving National Institutes of Health funding. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced approximately 28,000 graduates. The $736 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit www.uthscsa.edu.

 
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