HDC’s IPP scholars chosen for poster presentation at 2023 Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Conference

Scholars Madison Humphries and Mary Katherine Hadden of HDC’s Interprofessional Preparation Program (IPP) were chosen to present at the 2023 OSEP Combined Leadership and Project Directors’ Conference on July 24-26 in Arlington, VA.

Madison Humphries headshot

Madison Humphries, an audiology student at LSU Health New Orleans, created a children’s book titled Hannah and Hayden Get Their Hearing Aids to engage children and their families in the process of obtaining hearing aids. Created as an educational tool for teachers, caregivers, and medical professionals, this storybook was inspired by a study conducted by Italy’s Aosta Valley Schools that provided children with honest images of disabilities to stimulate their awareness, acceptance, and understanding of disability. Using 12 teachers and 22 university students, researchers discovered that children could learn about a disability through picture books, and in turn, open their minds to each person’s individuality and unique experiences.

Madison’s storybook is different from others about hearing loss in children because it was written for children while illustrating the step-by-step process of receiving hearing aids. In her research, Madison could not find an explanation of this complete process with children as the intended audience. Such storybooks are important because they allow children to see themselves in the process. This representation of hearing loss also helps deaf and hard of hearing children feel included.

Mary Katherine Hadden headshot

OSEP will also feature LSU Health New Orleans audiology student Mary Katherine Hadden’s poster presentation titled “Impacts of Hearing Loss in Children with Deficits in Communication Skills Acquiring a Second Language.” Mary Katherine’s poster aims to help clinicians and families determine a child-specific treatment plan for bilingual children diagnosed dual with both hearing loss and autism. Due to the limited research of the population with these coexisting conditions, this review compares two population groups: bilingual children diagnosed with hearing loss and bilingual children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Many families use bilingualism to adapt to a two-language community. Often, parents of children with a dual diagnosis of hearing impairment and ASD who wish to raise their child bilingually may receive conflicting opinions from professionals regarding the second language. Clinicians have difficulty providing families with appropriate information and advice for such issues.
Through her research, Mary Katherine’s poster emphasizes the importance of implementing a structured dual-language intervention plan and an early diagnosis for bilingual children diagnosed with hearing loss and ASD for use by parents, children, researchers, and clinicians.

About IPP

The LSU Health New Orleans’ Interprofessional Preparation for Related Services Personnel, shortened to Interprofessional Preparation Program (IPP), is a scholarship program training related services personnel in interprofessional evaluation and management of school-age children with disabilities presenting with high-intensity needs. Learn more by visit the IPP webpage.