What do we mean by Unique?
What is “unique” about deafness is that it affects an individual’s access to communication. This access can be obtained through any combination of sign language, spoken language, listening, technology (to include hearing aids, cochlear implants, assistive technology, computers, captioning), speech reading, and written language. However, without the support of these various methods of access, communication and language would be greatly impeded. Hearing loss brings together a community of parents and their children with a variety of professionals who work with hearing loss. It is our community of parents, children, deaf educators, audiologists, speech pathologists, counselors, interpreters, captioners, rehabilitative specialists, school administrators, adults who are deaf or hard of hearing, and many others who make our community so “unique”. This conference is meant to celebrate the uniqueness of our community, the successes of our community, and the unique (sometimes challenging) issues that arise with hearing loss.