Thursday, April 1, 2010

Keys To Communication: Speech & Hearing Sciences Exhibit

The Health Sciences Library (HSL), in collaboration with the UNC Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences (DSHS), is hosting an exhibition celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Division from March 1 - August 31, 2010. The “Keys to Communication” exhibit highlights the activities of all speech and hearing professionals, and places special emphasis on the specialty areas of UNC Faculty.

"This is a wonderful addition to our 40th anniversary events and one that will live on after the exhibition through the virtual exhibit," said Dr. Jack Roush, Director of the DSHS. "We're very proud of the display and the detail with which it addresses our areas of research and practice. The HSL staff has been wonderful partners in this endeavor and continues to be a tremendous resource for our department and this campus."

The exhibit covers the various activities of speech-language pathologists and audiologists, as well as brief histories of the speech and hearing professions. Also included is an overview and history of the Division, which is part of Allied Health Sciences in the School of Medicine, with commentary from Robert Peters, the first Division Director, to help celebrate the anniversary.

Among the highlights of the exhibit is the display of selected items from Roush’s antique hearing aid collection. These items help show the development of hearing instruments over time from early ear trumpets to modern digital hearing aids and cochlear implants. The audiology portion of the exhibit also includes various hearing devices from special phones to Bluetooth devices and other modern hearing aids.

“Keys to Communication” offers insights from patients as well as professionals to provide a deeper understanding of how essential communication is to our everyday lives, and how the services of speech and hearing professionals help make that communication possible. Descriptions of the DSHS programs also include commentary from current students as well as alumni.

Each section of the exhibit highlights examples of the activities of the DSHS faculty’s research, teaching and practice. This includes researching best practices for teaching autistic children, establishing bilingual language development programs, and participating in international programs, including teaching in Guatemala and offering hearing screenings at the Special Olympics.

Visitors from Tajikistan, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, and Latvia enjoyed the exhibit on March 9 as part of an effort to learn more about serving preschool children with disabilities. The international visitors are directors of each of their nations Open Society Institute foundations and Step-by-Step programs, which help families prepare their children for school and is similar to the United State’s Head Start program.

The exhibit is on display in the South Columbia Street entrance foyer of the HSL. An enhanced, online version of the exhibit includes videotaped interviews and links to related resources. The exhibit is a collaborative effort of HSL staff, DSHS faculty, and Anne Wood Humphries of, designer and curator.

The DSHS was established in 1969 and is internationally recognized for excellence in education, research, and professional service. It is one of seven divisions in the Department of Allied Health Sciences, UNC School of Medicine. The Division’s academic degree programs include a master’s (M.S.) in speech-language pathology and doctoral degrees in audiology (Au.D.) and speech and hearing sciences (Ph.D.). The audiology and speech-language pathology programs at UNC are among the nation’s top-ranked graduate programs.

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