Hearing Rehabilitation Foundation
The Fellowship provides the opportunity for post-graduate students in Audiology or Speech Pathology to spend two weeks working and learning at the Hearing Rehabilitation Foundation.
Polina Shuminsky and Torri Ann Woodruff are the first recipients of the HRF Auditory Training Fellowship.
Polina is a PhD candidate at City University of New York, and Torri is studying for her PhD at the University of Connecticut.
The first week of the Fellowship was spent working with Geoff Plant at the HRF. This included observing Geoff working with two clients with cochlear implants, and discussing the auditory training materials and approaches used at the HRF
In the second week of the Fellowship, Polina, Torri, and Geoff provided intensive auditory training to Bill, Dan, and Marge, three clients with cochlear implants and hearing aids.
The program ran from 10:00 am to around 3:00 pm. There were group sessions that provided practice in understanding information in a “lecture,” as well as sing-alongs, and a sharing of the client’s experiences with hearing loss. There were two 1:1 auditory training sessions each day, providing opportunities for clients to work with the three different trainers.
A highlight of the program was a presentation by HRF Board member Betty Hauck. Betty talked about her acquisition of a hearing loss, and its initial devastating effect on her career as a professional violist. After several years of not playing, Betty is now back not only performing music again, but telling people about hearing loss, and providing an inspiration for all those who fear that acquired hearing loss is a “deaf sentence.”
The program was rated a great success by all who took part. It allowed people with hearing loss to receive intensive training, and gave Polina and Torri the opportunity to learn and practice the use of new auditory training skills. The Fellowship will be offered again in 2019.
Many thanks to Don Schum of Oticon US for providing the Fellowship holders with a stipend to help meet their costs over the two weeks.