HCN News & Notes

Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech to Present Mainstreaming Conference

MARLBOROUGH — Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech will hold its 39th annual Conference on Mainstreaming Students with Hearing Loss on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 18-19, at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel in Marlborough.

This year’s event carries the theme “From Access to Achievement: Empowering Every Child to Succeed in the Mainstream,” and, for the first time, it will include a social hour for conference attendees, presenters, and exhibitors.

This is one of the only conferences of its kind in the country that offers resources and support to professionals who work with, and parents of, students who are deaf or hard of hearing who are in the mainstream — meaning they attend school with peers with typical hearing. The materials and topics are suited to teachers of the deaf, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, professionals in inclusive settings, and students who are deaf or hard of hearing and their parents. CEU and professional-development points are offered.

“What’s unique about the conference is our focus on students in mainstream classrooms, as opposed to those in schools specifically designed for students who are deaf or hard of hearing,” said Claire Troiano, director of Mainstream Services at Clarke Northampton, who has been involved with the conference since its inception and has held a lead role in planning the event for more than 20 years.

More than 20 professionals in the field of listening and spoken language will deliver presentations and workshops, covering topics related to the academic, social, and emotional challenges that arise for students who are deaf or hard of hearing and are learning in typical classrooms. 

“Best practices and stories shared by our conference presenters really resonate with those in our audience,” said Troiano, who also serves as the educational administrator of Clarke Northampton’s kindergarten-through-eighth-grade program. “We try to have speakers who are deaf themselves and have gone through the mainstream. They can speak about their own experiences and how they’re living their lives today. Conference participants also have the opportunity to ask questions.”

There is no deadline for registration, and walk-ins are welcome. For more information or to register, visit www.clarkeschools.org/services/annual-mainstream-conference.