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Timely Topics in Deaf Education

This series of presentations are designed to provide an update in soundfield and personal amplification systems, auditory processing and classroom acoustics.
Professor Gary Rance

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Key Details

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Course Information

Session 1:

9-10am Front Row Juno Soundfields with Andrew Willis

  • System Capabilities
  • Interfacing with assistive listening devices
  • Empowering teachers to use equipment
  • System setup and troubleshooting.

10-11am Auditory Processing Disorders with Chelsea Spokes

Auditory Processing is what the brain does with what the ears hear. If your auditory system was to work like a computer, your ears are the hardware, and your brain is the software. Even when the ears hear normally, errors in the software (the processing) can interfere with understanding or remembering what was heard. This is called an Auditory Processing Disorder (APD). Auditory processing difficulties can also occur when an individual has hearing loss. APD can leave an individual with or without hearing loss, feeling disconnected and isolated. It is estimated that 6% of the population struggle with APD, and most don’t even know it exists.

The good news is that auditory processing disorders can be treated and there are ways we can help a person hear clearly and accurately in difficult listening environments such as a classroom.

Session 2:

11:30-1:00 Hearing and autism with Dr Gary Rance

Communication difficulties are a core feature of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Hearing deficits severe enough to exacerbate these problems are also common. This presentation will review a series of recent studies which have explored the nature of auditory deficits in children with ASD and their effects on perception, listening-related stress and academic progress. The capacity of auditory interventions to ameliorate auditory deficits in this population will also be considered.

1:00-1:30pm The effect of classroom design on academic progress in primary school-aged children with Dr Gary Rance

The physical characteristics of a child’s learning environment can affect health, wellbeing and educational progress. This presentation will summarise the findings from a recent study investigating the effect of classroom setting on academic progress in 7-10 year old students comparing reading development in “open-plan” (multiple class groups located within one physical space) and “enclosed-plan” (one class group per space) environments. Reading fluency development was greater for the enclosed-classroom phases (P<0.001; 95%CI 3.7, 10.0) and the children who showed the greatest condition difference (ie slower rate of development in the open-plan) were those with the worst speech perception in noise and/or poorest attention skills.

Session 3:

2-2:30pm Auditory neuropathy (AN): new techniques for establishing the causes of AN – and why they are important with Dr Gary Rance

“Auditory neuropathy” (AN) is a term used to describe disorders in which neural transmission through the auditory nerve and brainstem is disrupted, but cochlear (outer) hair cell function is normal. There are a number of pathologic mechanisms (involving both pre- and post-synaptic sites) capable of producing the AN result pattern. This presentation will consider the effect of these different mechanisms on long-term intervention outcomes. A series of recent studies looking at the use of next-generation imaging techniques (Diffusion-Weighted Imaging) in diagnosing the causes of AN in affected children and adults will also be discussed.

2:30-3:30 Roger Soundfield and personal amplification systems with Mary Mavrias

  • What is Roger and benefits
  • Roger SoundField
  • Roger Features for Classroom
  • Troubleshooting

3:30-5pm Farewell to North Rocks site

Please join us as we farewell the North Rocks site ready for our move to Macquarie. This is our last workshop before the move and we look forward to celebrating this history with you.