Join us for next Thursday, 12/7, for our webinar “Getting Ready To Be Readers: Preliteracy During the EHDI Period”. Register at this link:

Webinar Description

Literacy achievement has long been a concern of parents and professionals working with deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) children. Recent research has found that age-appropriate reading skills are possible for many of today’s DHH elementary schoolers to achieve (e.g., Mayer et al., 2021; Smolen et al., 2020). But the road to successful reading begins long before formal schooling. In fact, the early intervention (EI) period provides many opportunities for parents and professionals to facilitate preliteracy skills. This presentation will explore preliteracy development for DHH infants and toddlers as they are getting ready to become successful readers. 

Results of a longitudinal study of reading achievement in DHH children enrolled in specialized listening and spoken language intervention show that while basic reading skills, including phonological awareness, are generally strong for this population, challenges with reading fluency may impact reading comprehension for some. How can parents and professionals strengthen DHH infants’ and toddlers’ prereading skills? Strategies for targeting preliteracy through shared book reading, routines-based language learning, mental state talk, and auditory memory will be presented, along with tools to track the development of these skills in very young children.

Webinar Presenters

Elaine Smolen: Elaine Smolen, PhD, CED, LSLS Cert. AVEd, is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Special Education: Deaf and Hard of Hearing program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research work centers around language and literacy development for young deaf and hard of hearing children who use listening and spoken language. Smolen received her PhD in deaf and hard of hearing education from Columbia as a National Leadership Consortium in Sensory Disabilities scholar. An experienced teacher of the deaf and certified Listening and Spoken Language Specialist, Smolen has served young children with hearing loss and their families as a head classroom teacher and in an itinerant role. She holds teaching certification in the areas of deaf education, elementary education, and English.

Maria Hartman: Maria Hartman, PhD, is a Lecturer and Program Director in the Special Education: Deaf and Hard of Hearing program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her work focuses on preparing the next generation of teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing through teaching courses in language and literacy development, assessment and teaching methods. Hartman also supervises pre-service teachers in schools, clinics and agencies that serve deaf children throughout the New York City area and is a member of the research team at Teachers College investigating deaf children’s language and literacy growth.

Call for Nominations – Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence

Nominations are invited for the Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence to be presented at the 2024 National EHDI Conference in Denver, Colorado. This award honors the life and work of Dr. Antonia Brancia Maxon to promote effective Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) programs for all newborns, infants, and young children. Dr. Maxon was a pioneer in EHDI programs, beginning with her leadership in the Rhode Island Hearing Assessment Project in the late 1980’s. She was one of the first to recognize the feasibility and value of universal newborn hearing screening and was a tireless advocate for connecting screening programs with timely and appropriate diagnosis and early intervention.

Her extensive contributions to creating excellent EHDI programs were abruptly ended by a tragic automobile accident in May of 2007. In memory of her contributions, an Award for EHDI Excellence is presented each year at the National EHDI Conference to honor an individual who has made outstanding contributions to achieving excellence in EHDI programs nationally or in a particular state or region.

Nominations for the Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence should be emailed to, or mailed to:

National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management

Utah State University

2615 Old Main Hill

Logan, Utah 84322-2615

Nominations must be received by Monday, December 4, 2023 and MUST BE LIMITED to 500 words. The nomination should describe:

The outstanding accomplishment(s) that contributed to improving EHDI programs.

How the accomplishment(s) demonstrate(s) significant creativity or initiative.

The specific ways in which the nominee has contributed to EHDI excellence.

Presentation of the 2024 Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence will be made on Monday March 18, 2024 at the National EHDI Conference in Denver, Colorado. More about the National EHDI Conference, including past nominees and recipients can be found at

Join us this Wednesday, 11/15, for webinar entitled “The Power of the Deafblind Technical Assistance Network: What’s in it for You?” hosted by Emma Nelson, MS Ed

Webinar Description:

Early Identification and Referral is the cornerstone for enhancing services and support for families of children with deafblindness. This webinar will provide an overview of the Deafblind Technical Assistance Network as well as share common risk factors and etiologies. 

Through hearing a family’s story, participants will learn how state deafblind projects, families, and EHDI personnel collaborated to create enhanced services and supports. The session will conclude with a Q&A discussion.  

Register at this link:

Listen to the EarWorm Podcast!

EarWorm Podcast: “Dialogues on hearing health you can’t stop thinking about!” Join us for season 1 of NCHAM’s new podcast, hosted by Dr. William Eiserman, PhD. The EarWorm podcast features conversations with a wide array of professionals, parents and other family members whose experiences, ideas, curiosities, and activities are committed to ensuring that all children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can thrive. Available for streaming anywhere you listen to podcasts, as well as on