Teleservices: Making Listening and Spoken Language Services More Accessible to Families

Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech provides children who are deaf or hard of hearing with the listening, learning and spoken language skills they need to succeed. Annually, nearly 1,000 children and their families benefit from programs and services at locations throughout the East Coast. But our reach goes beyond our physical locations.

Clarke’s tVISIT (teleservices Virtual Intervention Services for Infants and Toddlers) Program makes it possible for families to receive life-changing services from teachers of the deaf, speech-language pathologists and early childhood specialists—at home.

This has been a game changer for children who are deaf or hard of hearing, like six-year-old Alison. Her mom, Sara, who struggled to find local listening and spoken language support, explains:

“Clarke has shown us that with hard work and access to resources, children can excel in listening and spoken language. Clarke came into our home weekly via teleservices from the time Alison was implanted [with cochlear implants] until she was three years old. Clarke has been such an integral part of our journey and Alison’s success.”

Sara is not alone in her experience: 97 percent of caregivers in Clarke’s teleservices program say it makes Clarke services more accessible to their family, and 93 percent report it has increased their confidence in their ability to help their child.

“Clarke has shown us that with hard work and access to resources, children who are deaf or hard of hearing can excel in listening and spoken language,” shares Sara. “They can be mainstreamed and learn alongside their hearing peers. Our children are simply differently abled, not disabled.”

Throughout their tVISIT sessions, Alison and her family worked with Jeana Novak, MA, MED, LSLS Cert AVEd, Coordinator of the Early Intervention Program at Clarke Philadelphia, who is shown in the photo above.

“Miss Jeana was able to model strategies for us in the beginning to use in everyday life,” notes Sara. “She encouraged us when progress seemed slow and celebrated with us when new milestones were reached. As Alison began to excel with her implants, Miss Jeana knew how to challenge her without frustrating her.”

Today, Alison loves playing t-ball and doing cartwheels. She is proudly attending a mainstream school and dreams of being a “mommy construction worker” when she grows up!

From July 2018 through June 2019, Clarke led more than 1,500 tVISIT sessions with families. This broad reach and progress like Alison’s is not possible without support from donors and funders like the Johnson Scholarship Foundation. This funding is vital in helping Clarke professionals provide services to more families.

Cindy Goldberg is the Chief Development Officer for Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech. She’s dedicated her career to helping children and communities thrive through strategic fundraising efforts. 

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