Saturday, July 2nd


8:00 am - 10:00 am

General Session - Keynote Speaker

David Sousa, Ed.D.

Research in neuroscience is revealing the impact that technology is having on brain growth and development.. What do we mean by “re-wiring” the brain? In what do we mean by "re-wiring" the brain?  How can we use the research evidence to enhance the learning of auditorily-challenged and typical learners?" These questions and evidenced-based revelations raise some fascinating and important new questions for those who work with learners that Dr. Sousa will answer in this presentation.

Dr. Sousa's Powerpoint Presentation is available  for download here.

10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Interactive Sessions

Extended Learning with Dr. David Sousa, Hearing First and AG Bell

David Sousa, Ed.D.

Teresa Caraway Ph.D., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT

Lyn Robertson, Ph.D.

Wendelyn DeMoss M.S., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT

Ashley Garber M.S., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT

Social learning provides an opportunity for professionals to inform themselves and others, develop new viewpoints, and to solve problems through engaging with peers. At its core, when we engage with others around a topic of critical relevance to our listening and spoken language practice, we have the opportunity to make important changes in that practice. This session, a collaborative effort between AG Bell and Hearing First, will utilize social learning interactions to inspire new thinking to apply brain science into practice. Participants will be immersed in collaborative inquiry, discussion and debate to gain knowledge, insights and strategies in order to improve listening, spoken language and literacy outcomes for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Can Babies Go To Space?

Carrie M. Tamminga M.A., LSLS Cert. AVEd

Teri Ouellette M.S.Ed., LSLS Cert. AVEd

Kelli Blankenship M.A., LSLS Cert. AVEd

Executive Function (EF) is trendy—and with good reason! This skill set is “the final frontier” for children with hearing loss, and one professionals struggle to address on a consistent and systematic basis. Although the research and application for developing EF in older children is growing rapidly, there is very little discussion of how to address this critical development in infants and toddlers. Is it possible to lay this groundwork earlier than preschool? Are we already working on EF with infants and toddlers and just don’t know how to do it consistently and with purpose? Can we really help babies “go to space” in this final frontier? And if so, how? Join us in this session to gain information, strategies and ideas to help babies go to space.

Accelerating Parent Effectiveness: An Evidence-Based Coaching Model

Maribeth Lartz Ph.D.

Tracy Meehan M.A., DT-H

Wendy Deters M.S., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVEd

The benefit of listening and spoken language early intervention therapy is fully realized only when the strategies demonstrated in therapy sessions are mastered by parents and used in daily home routines with their children who are deaf and hard of hearing. This interactive session will describe an interdisciplinary graduate early intervention program for speech-language pathologists, teachers of the deaf and audiologists that includes parent coaching as a core curriculum component. Participants will learn about a five-step evidence-based parent coaching model that helps parents transfer newly learned skills into their family’s daily routines. As part of the presentation, participants will review several student evaluation measures related to parent coaching skill development; watch videos highlighting each step of the parent coaching model used during the students’ home and clinic-based therapy sessions; and be able to share challenges and generate solutions to the implementation of parent coaching models.

Auditory-Verbal Graduates: A 25 Year Outcome Update

Stacey Lim Au.D., Ph.D., CCC-A

Donald M. Goldberg Ph.D., CCC-SLP/A, FAAA, LSLS Cert. AVT

Carol Flexer Ph.D., CCC-A, LSLS Cert. AVT

What are the outcomes of the auditory-verbal approach, and how are these outcomes attained? It is critical to evaluate the long-term results of any early intervention program focused on listening and spoken language development for individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing. Outcome information helps professionals provide accurate information about different intervention approaches, and also helps parents choose the option that best suits their family. This session will present the results of a survey first administered in 1992. The session will also present the findings of an updated survey that was administered online in 2016. The survey findings provide current information about the educational attainment, employment, personal attributes and overall satisfaction experienced by adults who grew up with listening and spoken language as their primary mode of communication. The session will have a dual format that incorporates a lecture-style presentation, followed by a panel discussion with some of these individuals about their experiences.

Turning Pages: Progress and Opportunity through Books

Louise Honck Cert. MRCSLT, Pg. Dip. AVT, LSLS Cert. AVT

Frances Clark B.A., Cert. MRCSLT, LSLS Cert. AVT

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis said: “There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” How do we ignite a love of books? Which books should we read to our children? Do we read every word? What if they are not interested? Join us for an interactive and practical session to discover how to use books in a fun way to accelerate listening and language development. This session will focus on how to use books, beyond the story, to advance progress by developing joint attention, vocabulary, social interaction, imagination and theory of mind. Participants will explore the most appropriate books for children aged 0-5 and effective techniques for therapists and parents to influence children’s futures through books. Turn the page to accelerate their progress; advance their opportunities and enlarge their world.

Launching an Intervention Program Using Telepractice

Arlene Stredler-Brown Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Pat Greenway, R.N.

Joanna Stith Ph.D., LSLS Cert. AVT

Children who are deaf and hard of hearing, especially those in rural areas, may not have access to therapy delivered by experienced professionals. Technology can support cost-effective service delivery via interactive video. Known as telepractice, this innovative platform is a viable and alternative way to deliver services to children with hearing loss. The results of an exploratory study indicate that providers use more coaching strategies when therapy is delivered via telepractice in contrast to the frequency of coaching techniques in live, in-person sessions. This presentation will also share the perspectives of stakeholders—parents, providers and administrators—and apply this information to the clinical use of telepractice. As the use of telepractice advances, it is important to develop a roadmap identifying the strategies that enhance the success of this innovative platform.

Climbing to New Heights this School Year

Jennifer Raulie, MA, CCC-A

Auditory access is an important first step towards success in the classroom. Children who use cochlear implants need their parents and their educational team to collaborate in order to help them succeed in the classroom.  Phonak’s Roger technology has been shown to make listening easier in loud environments. In this session, attendees will learn how Phonak’s Roger technology is different from traditional FM systems and how it can help a child hear better in noisy classrooms. Attendees will have the opportunity for hands-on experiences to learn the basics of using Roger technology with the Advanced Bionics Naida CI Processor.  In addition, the session will provide tips and tools to facilitate successful communication before and throughout the school year by teaching attendees how to develop partnerships between the home, school, cochlear implant center and educational audiologist.


Learning labs

Cochlear Family: A Lifetime of Support and Great Benefits To Help You Hear Your Personal Best!

Marilyn Flood M.S.

Todd Hallberg

When you choose Cochlear for yourself or a loved one, you are part of a family that is connected by a common experience that is anything but common. This session will provide an overview of Cochlear Family designed to make users’ life easier, fuller, and more joyful and connected. Through Cochlear Family, members get personalized information about their Cochlear device, new products and upgrade information, exclusive benefits like Cochlear Store discounts, myCochlear online 24/7 portal, Cochlear Celebration (a national educational and community event), and Communication Corner (an online hearing rehabilitation tool). Attendees will receive the latest tips and techniques from hearing experts, connect with other Cochlear Family members and more.

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Knowledge-BUILDING sessions

I AM GREAT: Building Self-Esteem

Ken Levinson BABA, MBA, C.P.A.

LOFT Panelist

This interactive session will present a model for the development of a positive self-esteem and social skills for children and teens who are deaf or hard of hearing. The model is an acronym that is easy to remember with each letter representing a key element in the process. Having started the AG Bell Leadership Opportunities for Teens (LOFT) program in 1996, the lead presenter has been able to observe many of the characteristics that lead to individuals being able to develop a good sense of who they are and the confidence to advocate for themselves in avariety of situations. This—combined with the vast knowledge and observations of the other panelists who are current and past LOFT counselors and participants—will provide the basis upon which the model will be presented.

We Are in It Together: The Family's Journey

Mary Beth Goring M.A., LMFT

A child’s hearing loss can present a family with some of the greatest challenges it will ever face. The range of ways in which parents and siblings experience grief and stress can vary greatly among individuals and families. Parents and siblings alike make significant changes as they adapt to the needs of the deaf child. These adaptations can be very costly in terms of time, energy and finances to parents, their relationship with each other, and their relationship with their hearing children. How do marriages survive, and even thrive, under these stresses? This workshop will explore the challenges couples and families face, tried and true strategies for repairing and strengthening couple relationships, as well as identifying and meeting siblings’ needs.

1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

interactive sessions

Dig Deep: Building a Mentoring Mindset

Sherri Fickenscher M.S., CED, LSLS Cert. AVEd

Ashley Garber M.S., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT

The mentoring component of the Listening and Spoken Language Specialist (LSLS®) certification process affords professionals the chance to build skills in the application of LSLS strategies under the guidance of certified professionals. Given the complexity of the certification process, there is risk that either party will approach this period in a procedural fashion—dutifully checking off the boxes for each requirement. Likewise, because professionals entering the certification track are already licensed and skilled, parties may approach mentoring with a fixed mindset: striving for the success of accomplishment without the risk of failure in learning. This session will challenge mentors and mentees alike to instead approach this relationship with a “growth mindset” (Dweck, 2007). Participants will examine their personal perceptions of the mentoring process, and apply concepts from today’s top social scientists and mentoring experts in order to construct their own Personal Mentoring Blueprint that encourages a culture of growth and possibility for all involved.

Engaging and Sustaining Parental Commitment through Learning to Listen

Maree Rennie M.Ed., OAM

The session will demonstrate why attachment theory together with adapted auditory-verbal therapy is critical when preparing children with complex needs for their lifetime journey.

Learning to Listen: Theory to Practice

Becky Clem M.A., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT

Carrie Norman M.S., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVEd

What does listening and spoken language (LSL) for children with hearing loss look like in intervention? How does it carry over to everyday life? How do clinicians know that families can effectively carry out strategies and goals at home? This hands-on session will focus on taking knowledge about listening and spoken language for children with hearing loss and applying it to intervention. It will explore specific LSL strategies through video analysis and practice activities. Groups of attendees will analyze video demonstrations for intervention effectiveness and offer critique as to what the clinician could have done differently. Participants will investigate case studies to plan strategies and activities for implementation. The presenters will address the “teach back” method for carry over of home programs. Attendees should have a moderate working knowledge of hearing loss, hearing aids, cochlear implants, and intervention in clinic, home and/or educational settings.

Accelerating Progress via Technology: Making Telepractice Integral to the LSL Family-Centered Service Continuum

Marge Edwards M.S., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT

K. Todd Houston Ph.D., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert AVT

This presentation will discuss telepractice from the perspective of two listening and spoken language providers who have been successfully delivering services to families via telepractice for over seven years. Through videos and live panel discussion, the session will provide the parent perspective from several families who have/are receiving services via telepractice. Participants will also learn about the history and current trends in using telepractice as a service delivery model; specific approaches to delivering services, including parent coaching strategies; and future trends in the expansion of telepractice as part of the listening and spoken language continuum of services, including licensure and billing.

1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

learning labs



Andrew Kendrick MSE, LSL Cert. AVT

Bobbi Scheinin Au.D.

We all know that rehabilitation improves listening skills, especially for people using cochlear implants. But in this world of computer screens and smart phones, how do we adapt rehabilitation to maximize hearing while taking advantage of the latest technology?  Join us to learn about the latest innovations and how Cochlear is making rehabilitation fun and accessible for people with all types of hearing losses. Learn how users can incorporate new rehabilitation exercises into their everyday life, from working on phone skills to sessions held over the internet; rehabilitation is changing with advances in technology.


Sarah Hargest M.S., CCC-SLP

Hear the whole story.  Share, learn and connect with other parents of hearing impaired children who have chosen cochlear implantation.  Parents have told us that they value being able to learn from parents who have been through similar experiences and are inspired by other children’s stories.  Join the facilitated and interactive panel discussion to hear about choices, opportunities and outcomes other families encountered during all the ages and stages of their child’s hearing journey.  Learn tips to pave the pathway for success along each transition from infancy to adulthood.  Connect with other families to learn how technology can grow with your child.  Explore Advanced Bionics resources to support you and your child during different ages and stages along the hearing journey.

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Knowledge-BUILDING Session

Storytelling from the Heart: Cultivating Positive Outcomes for your Child

Joann Travers, M.S.

This session will deepen your perspective, awaken your mind to ideas, bring you closer to relationships with other parents, and ultimately cultivate your child’s development. Whether you are a parent of a newly diagnosed child who is deaf or hard of hearing or a parent whose journey has since encountered a thousand experiences, come tell your story or come to just listen! When parents come together to share their amazing experiences and embrace each other with narratives, they deepen their ability to engage and parent their children in listening and spoken language.  Through storytelling, parents remember what they learn and can cultivate astonishing strength and perspective. With respect for all in attendance, parent stories will be limited to 3-4 minutes.

3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

interactive sessions

Advancing Professional Support for Families in Poverty

Susan Lenihan Ph.D., CED

Jenna Voss Ph.D., LSLS Cert. AVEd

Colleen Kinsella

Poverty has a tremendous impact on the educational results of all children, including those who are deaf and hard of hearing. With targeted, evidence-based interventions, listening and spoken language (LSL) professionals can protect children from the numerous risk factors which impede development. While LSL professionals often serve children and families living in poverty, it remains the case that the professional preparation programs offer limited instruction and experience on how to best serve children and families living in poverty. This session will share the results of a study which explored professional preparedness to serve children who are deaf and hard of hearing and their families living in poverty. The presenters will identify opportunities to improve professional knowledge and skills, and present a framework of strategies. Participants will be invited to share their experiences as points of consideration for ways to improve professional preparation and development programs.

Evaluating Audiology Test Results—Looking Towards Management

Jane Madell Ph.D., CCC-A/SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT

Carol Flexer, PhD, CCC-A, LSLS Cert. AVT

A high quality, family-focused, listening and spoken language intervention plan is based on auditory information actually getting to the brain of the child with hearing loss. The best intervention plan will be effective only if we have audiologic confirmation that spoken communication is actually reaching the brain of the child. Therefore, auditory-verbal practitioners and parents must be able to review audiology test results in order to determine if appropriate testing has been performed; if additional testing is needed; and if modifications need to be made to technology programming in order for the child’s brain to receive high integrity spoken communication. Through case examples and with audience involvement, this session will demonstrate how practitioners can use audiologic information to plan therapy and educational management.

Mainstreaming Building Blocks: Self-Advocacy from the Start

Christine Erikson M.E.D.

A successful mainstream program requires blocks, builders and a design for construction. This session will identify the essential building blocks for a successful mainstream experience for children with hearing loss, with a focus on elements fostering self-advocacy. Self-advocacy is a critical component in the daily success of children with hearing loss learning in inclusive settings. When established early, children are prepared for more difficult transitions moving from one academic setting to another. Children who are deaf and hard of hearing face challenges that change over time related to self-advocacy and full integration in a school community. Participants will identify needs, strategies, tools and resources that help foster self-advocacy and social competence at different academic levels in the mainstream environment. The session will show videos of students practicing effective self-advocacy skills. Participants will develop a plan for children or students with whom they are familiar and share them with the group.

Living Large with Language Learning

Sandra Ramos-Ibarra M.Ed., LSLS Cert. AVEd

Rebecca Schmitt M.Ed., LSLS Cert. AVEd

The overarching objective for students with hearing loss is communicative competence. This session will equip teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing within the educational setting to: recognize and identify the language opportunities inherent within Common Core objectives, state mandated knowledge and skills, or grade level expectations; apply and practice strategies and activities that promote purposeful and specific language objectives individualized to the students’ needs; and develop, design and implement sociolinguistic activities and communicative competence strategies specific to their students. The session will include research, videos, activities and practice.

Preschool Teachers’ Language: Challenges for Children’s Learning

Liz Fales M.S., CED, LSLS Cert. AVEd

Christine Gustus, M.S., CCC-SLP, CED, LSLS Cert. AVEd

This session will provide professionals with an understanding of the language complexity used by preschool teachers in the general education setting and describe how children with hearing loss and/or delayed language skills may be adversely affected. It will include information from observing local preschools, gathering language samples from teachers, and analyzing the teachers’ language. Teachers use very complex sentences when introducing new content, giving directions, or providing feedback to students. Professionals working with children who are deaf or hard of hearing have an obligation to understand how students may be affected by the language level used in the general education preschool setting and devise strategies that can improve the children’s learning. The session will share, analyze and discuss language samples, and include strategies for using language samples to guide Individualized Education Program (IEP) decisions.

3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Knowledge-BUILDING session

Utilizing Complementary Accessories To Maximize Communication

Jason Wigand Au.D., CCC-A

Jamy Claire Archer M.S., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT

Gina Crosby-Quinatoa M.S.P., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT

Nicole Herrod-Burrows Au.D., CCC-A

Hearing technology has continued to see much advancement in the last several years. Improvements in hearing aids and cochlear implants alone have been astounding, but what about everything else that comes along with hearing technology? This session will discuss the clinical and everyday use of the various complementary devices that often accompany hearing aids and implantable devices. It will describe these accessories, their functionality and compatibility to maximize communication and therapeutic interventions for each patient's unique needs.


Susan Boswell M.A., CAE

Tamala Bradham D.H.A., Ph.D., CCC-A

Session Description TBA

4:45 pm - 5:45 pm

special session


Inspiration Station

 Facilitated by Betsy Brooks M.S., CED, LSLS Cert. AVEd. and Amanda McNamara

Don’t miss Inspiration Station! Gain CEUs by attending this one-of-a-kind session in which 25 presenters will share their teaching and therapy ideas, materials, and other inspirational work at 25 tables. Inspiration Station is revamped from the Teacher/Therapist Share that was held at past AG Bell conventions and has always been a great way to share in a way that is mor up close and personal.  Conducted in a “show and tell” manner, attendees of this session will walk through the room and stop, look, listen and talk as they wish with presenters. Join in the energy! Join in the fun! Come learn about the great work of others!