NSSLHA Chapter Hosts Holiday Event for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children
The University of Arkansas chapter of the National Student Speech-Language Hearing Association recently partnered with Arkansas Hands and Voices, a non-profit organization that supports families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing, to host the organization's annual Candy Cane Christmas Event.
The event was held on Dec. 1 in the Arkansas Union International Connections Lounge. The event served as a fun, safe way for deaf or hard of hearing children to interact with one another, participate in holiday-themed crafts and activities, enjoy snacks, and meet Santa. It also provided the opportunity for families to mingle and share their experiences with one another.
Over 30 families attended, all of which had at least one child who was deaf or hard of hearing. The event welcomed children of all ages, and provided crafts and activities for them to participate in, led by undergraduate and graduate students. The children who attended the event used a wide variety of communication approaches, including but not limited to: American Sign Language, a total communication approach (sign language plus spoken language), or primarily spoken language. The children in attendance also utilized a range of different hearing technologies including hearing aids, cochlear implants, and bone-anchored hearing aids.
The event also served as a learning opportunity for university students in the communication disorders program to have hands-on experience with individuals with whom they will work with in their future careers. Over 40 students volunteered from UA NSSLHA to help plan the event, lead crafts and activities, and clean up. This included the most Speech-Language Pathology graduate student volunteers in the event's history.
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