U.S. Congressman Rob Bishop, R-District 1, and state legislators will be at Utah State University Monday, March 21 to meet children, parents and staff at the innovative Sound Beginnings Pre-School and the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management. The event begins at 11 a.m. and Sound Beginnings is housed in the Emma Eccles Jones Early Childhood Education and Research Center. The Sound Beginnings program, which has secured more than $1.5 million in federal grants, serves as a practicum site for graduate training programs in audiology, speech language pathology and deaf education. Sound Beginnings teacher Janet Fuller says the program was spearheaded by Dr. Karl White and its goal is to ensure that all infants and toddlers with hearing loss are identified as early as possible and provided with appropriate intervention. “In the hospital, in America, we have a new born screening where they go in and screen newborns,” Fuller explains. “Based on whether they pass or not pass then they get referred to follow up screenings as well. “We are actually able to identify a lot earlier, preferably the first couple of months of life, whether or not they have hearing loss.” Legislators visiting USU Monday will tour the new Sound Beginnings facility completed in October 2010 and visit classrooms. They will also interact with children at the school and observe teaching methods in practice to gain a better understanding of the program.
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