At HEAR Wisconsin you will find experienced, caring professionals who are committed to providing unbiased information and a variety of communication choices to help your child reach his or her fullest potential.
HEAR WI is a provider for Wisconsin ’s Birth to Three Program, an early intervention program for infants and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities and their families. The Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services (DHFS) oversees the Birth to Three Program and each county in Wisconsin is responsible for providing these services within their county. HEAR WI works with many counties in Southeastern Wisconsin to provide appropriate early intervention services to the children in their Birth to Three Programs who are deaf or hard of hearing. HEAR WI also works with families who opt not to participate in the Birth to Three Program.
The philosophy of our Language Access Services is that parents should be the primary decision-makers for their child’s program needs and determination of goals, as they know their child best. The role of our Language Access Team is to provide accurate and unbiased information to support the parents’ decision-making process. For more information, contact Chris Kometer.
ConnectHear teleintervention Therapy
ConnectHear uses teleintervention to provide this service to children and families in their home or school, if they do not have a Certified Auditory-Verbal Therapist available locally. With ConnectHear, you can get the specialized help you need no matter where you live, using the internet and a webcam. For more information, contact Amy Peters Lalios.
Parent education within the home is designed to meet the needs of each family. What takes place during home visits is determined by the needs and interests indicated by the family and may include information about hearing loss and deafness, communication options, and/or ways to enhance your child’s functional language. Functional communication can include vocalization, speech, use of residual hearing, facial expression, gesturing and/or signing. HEAR WI can begin working in your home with you and your child from a very early age, sometimes as young as a few weeks old.
Toddler Communication Groups
Toddler Communication Groups take place at HEAR WI twice per week and are open to children ages 15 months through three years old who are enrolled in Language Access Services at HEAR WI. Communication Group staff include a Child and Family Teacher, a Program Assistant and two Speech-Language Pathologists. In addition, university students majoring in Deaf Education, Speech-Language Pathology or Interpreter Training may assist the staff.
These communication groups provide a natural play setting rich in auditory, speech and language stimulation to enhance your child’s functional communication. They also provide children with opportunities for social interaction with peers and adults who use a similar communication mode, including oral communication or sign language. Parents are active participants of these communication groups and have the opportunity to learn new activities to use with their child as well as meet other parents of deaf and hard of hearing children. For more information about HEAR WI Toddler Communication Groups, contact Chris Kometer.
Speech-Language Therapy sessions will focus on development of vocalizations and speech, meaningful use of residual hearing, receptive and expressive language skills and the family's competency as speech-language facilitators. Therapy services are available to all children enrolled in our Language Access Services. For more information about Speech-Language Therapy, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Auditory-Verbal Therapy is a parent-centered approach that focuses on listening as the primary input for learning language. During therapy sessions, the parent, child and therapist engage in activities that teach the child to use sound meaningfully while wearing his or her hearing aid or cochlear implant. Auditory-Verbal Therapy is available at HEAR WI or as part of the HEAR WI teletherapy program, ConnectHEAR. For more information, contact Amy Peters Lalios.
Parent Support Groups/Education Workshops
Parent support groups are open to any parent who has a child who is deaf or hard of hearing. These groups provide opportunities for open ended, facilitated discussion with other parents of a similar age child or parents of children with similar types of hearing loss. Educational Workshops cover topics of interest to a broad range of parents through guest speakers and panel discussions and are held throughout the year.
Parent Resource Center
The HEAR WI Parent Resource Center is open to all families and provides access to books, DVD's , videos and other materials related to hearing loss, communication options, parenting and Deaf Culture. Internet access is also available to provide a link to additional resources and articles. Materials can be borrowed free of charge.
Parent/Child Sign Language Classes
Sign language classes are offered at HEAR WI throughout the year to help parents, caregivers and teachers learn to communicate more effectively with children in sign language. No experience necessary. Classes are taught by Deaf adults and class sizes are kept small. To see a listing of upcoming sign classes, CLICK HERE.