Fontbonne University’s Department of Communication Disorders and Deaf Education (CDDE) has been awarded a $1.25 million grant, Interdisciplinary Preparation of Teachers of the Deaf and Speech-Language Pathologists to Provide Family-Centered Early Intervention for Young Children Who Are Deaf/Hard of Hearing (H325K20004), from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS). The funds will be used for a project designed to increase the number of teachers of the deaf and speech-language pathologists who are highly qualified to work with children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing (DHH) and their families through early intervention.
The five-year grant will support 32 scholars seeking master’s degrees in early intervention in deaf education or speech-language pathology. Students who receive funding will enter a six-semester, evidence-based program designed to prepare them to become skilled speech-language pathologists and teachers of the deaf through an interdisciplinary approach.
“Fontbonne has a long history of implementing a high-quality interprofessional personnel preparation program,” said Jenna Voss, assistant professor and associate dean of Fontbonne’s College of Education & Allied Health Professions and CDDE’s graduate deaf education program director. “Our speech-language pathology and deaf education faculty members work together to ensure students understand the role and value of both professions and how to collaborate to best serve children who are DHH and their families.”
Accepted students will receive tuition support for 36 hours of interdisciplinary coursework and field experiences focused on family-centered early intervention, speech and hearing, language and literacy, infant and child development, assessment and intervention planning, and early childhood educational practices. They will also participate in a collaborative seminar, attend forums and professional conferences, and work with a local group of parent mentors.
“The parent mentors will build invaluable relationships with our scholars from the time they enter our program, sharing their personal perspectives as recipients of the family-centered services,” Voss said.
Considered one of the nation’s best CDDE programs, Fontbonne has earned more than $8 million in federal grants intended to increase the number of professionals qualified to work with children who are DHH.
“We have partners across the country who lead schools for the deaf and facilitate parent support groups,” Voss said. “They recognize the value of a Fontbonne education because they employ our graduates and recognize our alumni as major contributors in the field.”
Students can apply for the early intervention in deaf education and speech-language pathology programs until Feb. 1, 2021. More information is available at https://bit.ly/3if04YL.