EARS is an outreach service of Arkansas Children's designed to provide educational audiology/speech-language pathology for school districts, educational cooperatives, preschool programs and other educational settings in order to address the needs of students with hearing loss and other auditory disorders. The audiology services that are provided range from managing hearing screening programs to assist with amplification and other technical assistance in the classroom, as well as recommendations for accommodations/modifications for students with auditory processing disorders, cochlear implants, etc. A full range of evaluation services is available including audiological assessments, counseling/guidance for parents and hearing conservation education. Speech pathology services include specialized assessments (with a written report), classroom observations, assistance with writing appropriate goals, as well as modeling therapy with individual students.

Experienced audio speech-language language pathologists and educators are also available to assist in the development of IFSP/IEPs and to provide focused in-service training for professionals and paraprofessionals. The services of the professionals on the EARS team can be contracted on a regular basis by the school district and other educational sites or called in on an “as needed” basis. Within the state of Arkansas, most school districts have limited or no access to onsite specialized service specific to children with auditory and listening challenges. This outreach program forms a much-needed bridge to fill in the gap between identification, education and academic outcomes for students with hearing impairment.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Arkansas Department of Education - Special Education Unit.

For more information about the EARS program, please contact the coordinator, Donna Smiley, Ph.D., CCC-A, at ears@archildrens.org or 501-680-2718.