Partners

The Georgia Pathway to Language and Literacy is a partnership between the Atlanta Speech School and the Georgia State Schools.

Atlanta Area School for the Deaf
Established in 1972, the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf (AASD) is devoted to providing quality, comprehensive, full-day instructional services to infants, children, and youth who are deaf, including persons with multiple handicaps. Their classroom programs range from preschool through twelfth grade.  Student experience a range of academic, vocational, and social opportunities.  The activities provided to students include a number of sports (junior and varsity basketball, track, and volleyball), to student council, learner’s permit training, kids in the kitchen, a pageant, and high school percussion.

AASD provides a number of services to their students and the students’ families.  Support from AASD comes through dedicated audiologists, speech pathologists, communication specialists, psychologists, occupational and physical therapists, and counselors who are able to evaluate and address the unique needs of each student.  In addition to the services AASD provides to their students and the families, AASD also provides a variety of deaf-related programs to all communities across the State of Georgia.  The outreach services provided by AASD include providing state technical assistance on deaf-related issues for schools and different organizations throughout Georgia; providing assessments for the hearing impaired at diagnostic and evaluation centers; and providing family services through Georgia PINES (Parent Infant Network for Educational Services), including counseling and signing classes.

Atlanta Speech School
Established in 1938, the Atlanta Speech School is one of the Southeast’s oldest therapeutic, educational centers for children and adults with hearing, speech, language, or learning disabilities.  The Atlanta Speech School works toward their mission of helping each person develop his or her full potential through language and literacy by providing clinical and education programs, as well as providing professional development for teachers and educators in partner schools and preschools.  Additionally, the Guild, founded in 1969 and comprised of approximately 600 members, provides the Atlanta Speech Schools with classroom volunteers and financial aid support, while generating community interest in the School and the services they provide. 

The four school programs provided through the Atlanta Speech School include the Katherine Hamm Center (the program that works with infants through elementary school-age children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing), the Wardlaw School, Stepping Stones, and the Anne and Jim Kenan Preschool.  Additionally, the School has a variety of clinical and community programs, including the Rollins Center for Language & Learning (the program partners with public school systems, individual schools, and preschools, providing teachers with training, mentoring, and coaching to better ensure that young children will develop into talented readers), and after-school and summer camp, and a number of different clinics (the Audiology Clinic, the Learning Evaluation Clinic, the Speech-Language Pathology Clinic, the Occupational Therapy Clinic, and the Learning Lab). 

Auditory-Verbal Center
Established in 1977, the Auditory-Verbal Center, Inc. (AVC) specializes in providing sound and voice to the deaf and hard of hearing.  AVC is one of the few Auditory-Verbal Centers in the United States providing comprehensive Auditory-Verbal and Audiological services to infants, children, adults and their families.  The Center does this through operating 3 campuses:  an Atlanta campus, a Macon campus, and a virtual campus which provides tele-therapy services to clients around the state through an internet connection.  Each campus provides therapy to children at the time of their diagnosis (beginning in infancy) with the goal of “learning to listen, so they can listen to learn” without the use of sign language or lip reading.  Auditory-verbal therapists guide and coach parents in the sessions to know how to develop listening and spoken language skills in their child at home.  The Atlanta campus offers a full-service audiology clinic serving children and adults of all ages and auditory rehabilitation for adult cochlear implant users. 

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, a not-for-profit organization, is dedicated to making kids better today and healthier tomorrow. Children’s is the largest healthcare provider for children in Georgia and one of the largest pediatric clinical care providers in the country. The Children's Hearing Loss Program serves infants, children and young adults from birth to age 21 by identifying hearing difficulties and working with the family to develop a plan of care that supports language and literacy development. By combining the expertise of pediatric otolaryngologists and audiologists, Children's provides comprehensive and consistent care for children, teens and young adults with hearing loss. With the help of social workers, child psychologists and rehab therapists, Children's also provides education and support for patients and their families. The team provides follow-up care for each of our patients to ensure that they remain on a path to language, academic, and social success. Audiology services are offered at several convenient outpatient rehabilitation locations throughout metro Atlanta.

 

Georgia Department of Community Health/Public Health Division – Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention (UNHSI)
Resulting from the passage of a 1999 law, the Georgia Department of Community Health, Division of Public Health developed and implemented a statewide Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention (UNHSI) initiative.  The goal was not only to develop but to sustain a comprehensive system for UNHSI in Georgia where primary health care providers, hospitals, and public health workers worked together ensuring all newborns are screened for hearing loss prior to hospital discharge. The system includes newborn screening, follow-up screening for newborns that did not pass the first screening, diagnosis of hearing loss, and connection to an intervention.  A data management system was created to document the total number of births and the statistics on the number of infants screened, passed and referred, as well as the number of infants with confirmed hearing loss. Families of children with hear losses receive support through screenings, diagnostics, and intervention processes.

Georgia Department of Education
The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) oversees public education throughout the state. It ensures that laws and regulations pertaining to education are followed and that state and federal money appropriated for education is properly allocated to local school systems and to state schools. The GaDOE also provides education-related information to students, parents, teachers, educational staff, government officials, and the media. 

The Divisions for Special Education Services and Supports include programs and services that support local school districts in their efforts to provide special education and related services to students with disabilities. These services focus on enhancing student achievement and post-secondary outcomes through implementation of regional and statewide activities for students, families, educators, administrators, and other stakeholders.

The GaDOE fully supports Georgia Pathway to Language and Literacy as a pioneering initiative to make education work for all Georgians and to provide a national model to improve language and literacy outcomes for all students.

Georgia Hands & Voices
Georgia Hands & Voices is a parent-driven, non-profit organization supporting families of children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing; the organization provides parents with the resources, networks, and information they need to improve communication access and educational outcomes for their children.  Georgia Hands & Voices is non-biased about communication methods, believing that families will make the choice best suited for their child. This is represented by their membership ranging from families who communicate manually and/or orally, from American Sign Language to cochlear implants. Members of Georgia Hands & Voices range from families and professionals to other organizations and adults who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.  One of47 statewide and international chapters, Georgia Hands & Voices has held informational meetings in cities across Georgia, including Valdosta, Hinesville, Atlanta, and Athens.  Georgia Hands & Voices continues to grow and expand the support for the deaf and hard-of-hearing by building relationships with a variety of organizations supporting the deaf and hard-of-hearing population in Georgia.

Georgia PINES
Georgia PINES is an organization that trains professionals who deliver specialized services focused on hearing and/or vision impairments to families and provides regular home visits to families and/or caregivers of the child birth to three.  Family training is provided through four different models: SKI-HI for children with hearing loss; VIISA for children with visual impairments; Signing Deaf Mentors for families who request Sign language instructions; and INSITE (In-Home Sensory Impaired Training and Education) for children with multiple disabilities including sensory impairment. VIISA, INSITE, and SKI-HI are provided by professionals called parent advisors, while the Deaf Mentor Model is provided by signing deaf adults with a four-year degree.  Some of the services provided to Georgia PINES families include: development assessments specific to sensory impairments, loaner hearing aid bank, listening therapy, functional vision evaluations, and audiology testing.

Georgia School for the Deaf (GSD)
Established in 1846 by the state legislature to educate deaf and hard-of-hearing children throughout the State of Georgia, the Georgia School for the Deaf (GSD) is one of three state-operated schools in Georgia.  Similar to other public schools in Georgia, Georgia School for the Deaf is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Admission to GSD is open to students who are legal residents of Georgia between the ages of 3 and 21 with a measured audiometric hearing loss of 55dB or greater in the better ear.  Students are referred to GSD from the school district where the prospective students reside.  Students may attend as either a day student or a residential student, staying in the dorms.  In addition to sports and after school programs, GSD offers American Sign Language (ASL) classes and resources to interested parents. 

Georgia State University – Special Education Department/Deaf/HH Program
The Department of Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education  is divided into four graduate-level program areas: Behavior and Learning Disabilities (BLD), Communication Disorders (CD), Educational Psychology (EPY), and Multiple and Sever Disabilities (MSD).  The deaf/hard-of-hearing program under the Multiple and Sever Disabilities program is intended to prepare teachers to instruct students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.  Teachers are prepared for programs focused on developing spoken language skills, programs that use visual language (e.g., American Sign Language), or to teach in either local schools or separate educational facilities.  Prospective teachers are prepared through a variety of coursework, including language learning, instructional modifications of academic subjects (e.g., social studies and math), auditory and speech development, and special strategies for learners with additional disorders. Click here to access the Program in the Education of Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing Student Handbook.

Nancy Hurd Buice, Consultant
As a consultant, Nancy Buice provides support services regarding the administration of systemwide and statewide programs in special education.

North Georgia Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA) and Georgia Learning Resources System (GLRS)
Started as a provision to the 1985 Quality Basic Education Act, North Georgia RESA is a network of 16 RESA groups, aimed at assisting local school systems and libraries meet their education needs by sharing services across school system, college, and library lines.  All RESA’s are required to provide seven areas of service, including: research and planning; staff development; curriculum and instruction; assessment and evaluation; technology; health; and school improvement. Examples of services provided by RESA include: staff learning for administrators, teachers, paraprofessionals, and substitute teachers; School Improvement Specialists on staff to assist schools with various school improvement initiative related to the No Child Left Behind federal legislation; and mentoring services. Similarly, GLRS is a network of 17 centers throughout Georgia, providing training and resources to educators and parents of students with disabilities.  GLRS assists local schools in meeting the federal requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and No Child Left Behind (NCLB).  In addition to assisting school systems, GLRS also supports parents of students with disabilities by providing them with information and resources; by completing “Child Find” activities so young children with developmental delays receive the appropriate support in schools; and by coordinating with the Georgia Parent Mentor Program to enable parents to be active in their children’s education.

Professional Preparation in Cochlear Implants (PPCI)
The Professional Preparation in Cochlear Implants (PPCI) is an intensive program administered through The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  The program is aimed at professionals providing early intervention services to children ages 0 to 10 years old with cochlear implants. PPCI is specifically designed for teachers of deaf children, educational audiologists with beginning-to-limited experience in providing (re)habilitation services to children with implants, and speech-language pathologists, but supervisory professionals making decisions for young children with hearing loss will also benefit. The four major parts of PPCI include: prerequisite learning through a web-based professional education center; twelve days of intensive on-site learning; an individual program of mentoring (six hours of mentoring during 60 hours of skill application); and participation in a capstone experience.

Seaton Consultants
Seaton Consultants is a sole proprietorship that offers consultation and training in the areas of educational and pediatric audiology, parent-infant programming, and educational services for students who are deaf and hard of hearing.