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DHH masterclass series

Seven webinars providing information about speech acoustics, measuring and responding to current level of functioning, and working with families.
Ethan learning sign language at Roberta Reid

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Key Details

Course Code
7 hours

Course Information

Topic 1: Speech Acoustics

Presenter: Marietta Patterson

This presentation will provide an introduction to speech acoustics and discuss how to use this knowledge when working with the DHH population by linking acoustic information to the “Speech Banana” and the Ling Sounds on an audiogram. The sub-topic flow will be as follows: review of the duration, intensity, and frequency acoustic characteristics for the voice and prosody, the vowel system and the consonants by groups. Each set of acoustic information will be related to an audiogram and participants will predict detection, discrimination, and identification requirements for auditory access to the sounds of speech for differing degrees of hearing loss.

Topic 2: Speech Remediation Strategies

Presenter: Marietta Patterson

This presentation follows-on from the presentation on 13 March 2020 on Speech Acoustics.

Some speech remediation strategies that rely on speech acoustic knowledge for common mistakes made by children will be presented and related to an audiogram with the “Speech Banana” and the Ling Sounds. There will be a focus on 3 types of DHH children: the late diagnosed, those with mild/moderate losses and ESL learners. Late to listening children, need to develop their speech repertoire in a shorter time frame, establishing the vowel and diphthong system is essential. Children with mild-moderate losses may not receive sufficient acoustic information to perceive “sh” or /s/ well, and by analogy /f/, “th”, and the acoustic cues needed to perceive place differences of p, t, k and the second formant of vowels. This may result in omissions, distortions and deletion of final /s/and s in blends. ESL learners with hearing loss need to auditorily “tune-in” to the prosodic cues of Australian English and will have articulatory challenges, such as production of /r/ or /l/. Strategies to address these challenges above will be presented and related to an audiogram.

Topics 3-5 Title: Current Level of Functioning Parts 1-3

Topic 1 General Level of Functioning (Part 1)

Topic 2 Date: Level of Audition Functioning (Part 2)

Topic 3 Date: 1: Level of Language Functioning (Part 3)

Presenter: Cheryl Dickson

Introduction: “Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.” -H. James Harrington.

It is the twenty-first century and the technology associated with hearing loss has never been better. Children today have the ability to acquire spoken language through audition by utilizing the latest digital hearing aids and implantable devices. With Newborn Hearing Screening programmes becoming more prevalent worldwide, children have the best chance ever of achieving age appropriate spoken language and going to mainstream schools in their local communities. However, even with all the advances in technology and early diagnosis, there remains a population of children with hearing loss that we are failing; they do not achieve age appropriate spoken language. Even though some children have achieved age appropriate language skills at some point, we find they fall behind their hearing peers after commencing school (Ching) while others have never quite reached age appropriate skills. In both cases, was the delay documented early enough to make significant changes in the children’s programmes to allow for appropriate progress? Professionals working with this population often rely on annual standardized assessments to show progress. However, annual or even twice-yearly standardized testing does not provide data in a timely manner to ensure programming can be adapted as necessary when appropriate progress fails to occur. It is only through a combination of standardized and functional assessments that we can truly monitor a child’s progress and make appropriate on-going changes to ensure age appropriate outcomes.


Through the use of a one-page form, a child’s current level of functioning can be documented, and appropriate goals written. Updating the form after 3-6 months give immediate data as to the viability of the program that has been implemented. Special attention to functional assessment of audition, and general development will be the focus with an opportunity to practice filling in this form and detailed explanations on functional assessment methods.

Topic 6: Working with families from an ESL background

Presenter: Andrew Kendrick

At our RIDBC Liverpool centre we are fortunate to have a wide range of languages and cultures that we work with in our Early Learning Program. We work with interpreters who support us with over fifty percent of our clients. Languages include; Vietnamese, Kurdish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Arabic, Farsi, Italian, Greek, Thai, Bengali and Caldean. This presentation will look at how to ensure ESL families receive the same level of service, access to information and support as English speaking families.

Topic 7: The Team around the Child

Presenter: Andrew Kendrick

The Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) provides a Team Around the Child (TAC) model of service delivery for families whose child has been diagnosed with a hearing loss, vision impairment or dual sensory loss. Many of the children we work with have additional needs in addition to their vision and/or hearing loss. RIDBC offers a full range of Allied Health services embedded into our program including: Teachers of the Deaf, Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists , Therapist Consultant Vision, Physiotherapists, Audiologists, Family Counsellors and our Psychologists. This webinar will look at the outcomes and benefits to families and professionals working within this framework.

This event addresses the following Standards from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: 1.1.2, 1.2.2, 1.3.2, 1.4.2, 1.5.2, 1.6.2, 2.6.2, 3.2.2, 3.3.2, 3.4.2, 3.6.2, 4.1.2, 4.4.2, 4.5.2, 5.1.2, 5.2.2, 5.3.2, 5.4.2, 6.2.2, 6.2.6, 6.3.2, 6.4.2, 7.4.2. It fits within the Priority Area of Children/ Student with Disabilities. This event is evidence and research based.



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