|Stark County Educational Service Center is pleased to offer SPEAK, a state-of-the-art classroom for children with hearing loss. The classroom is an extension of the Early Childhood Preschool programs. Located at Taft Elementary School in Plain Local, SPEAK began operating in January 2006.
SPEAK is one of three public preschool programs in the State of Ohio to offer an auditory oral preschool classroom where children with hearing loss learn to listen and talk. This unique program provides an educational option for parents who have chosen spoken language as the primary means of communication for their child with hearing loss.
Mission: Teach children with hearing loss to listen, speak and understand when someone is speaking to them.
Primary Goal: Prepare children to return to their home school district and be educated with their hearing peers as soon as they are ready.
Components of SPEAK necessary in the development of auditory oral communication skills:
In the preschool classroom, attention is given to developing the young child’s spoken communication, social, cognitive, and perceptual-motor skills through individual and whole group activities. To foster oral communication and provide age appropriate language models, hearing classmates are included in each class.
- Instruction is provided by a licensed Teacher of the Deaf trained in Auditory/Oral Education.
- The curriculum provides highly specialized instruction in speech, language, and listening skills, while adhering to the preschool curriculum set forth by the Ohio Department of Education.
- With appropriate hearing aids, cochlear implants, and hearing assistive technology, children are taught to use their residual hearing to develop spoken language.
SPEAK Support Services
- Audiological services
- Speech-language therapy
- Auditory training sessions
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Adaptive physical education
- Psychological services
- Social services
- Nutritional services
One critical component of a quality auditory oral program for children with hearing loss is on-site access to audiological testing and maintenance. Children with hearing loss who are developing spoken language need to be able to hear appropriately before they are able to learn. Normal hearing or managed hearing loss is the foundation for academic success. Stark County Educational Service Center's state-of-the-art Audiology Center, which is also located at Taft Elementary, allows the educational audiologists to assess, diagnose, and manage hearing loss in children of all ages.
For more information, contact: