Alabama School for the Hearing

A few months ago, I was invited to observe a pre-school class at The Alabama School for the Hearing currently housed at The Canterbury United Methodist Church in Birmingham, AL. Children's Hospital and Alabama Ear Institute collaborated to give parents of hearing-impaired children a preschool that focuses on developing and increasing verbal language skills through listening. According to Nancy Gregg (Certified Auditory-Verbal Therapist) who teaches at the school, "The curriculum is literacy- and language-based. Each child also receives individual parent-centered therapy sessions." She encourages parents interested in the school to come by and visit, which is exactly what I did.

When I entered the classroom, I first noticed the beaming faces of these young children. All had smiles and seemed to be having a great time. The teachers (all Certified AVTs) were very patient with the kids and the small group size made it easy for everyone to speak, be heard, and listen to others. A classroom sound field FM system made teachers easier to hear through the children's hearing devices. They sang songs, they had lunch, they played, and they were encouraged to listen and speak the entire time. Not a minute was wasted when valuable language and listening skills could be incorporated throughout the day.

Currently, classes are held three days a week at the large and beautiful church, tucked away just outside of the busy streets of Birmingham. If you have a hearing-impaired child in Alabama (ages 3-7) and are interested in learning more about this school, feel free to email Nancy for more info.