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The University of Tennessee has established the state’s first certified program to train teachers of children with cochlear implants.

Velvet Buehler, director of UT-Knoxville’s Child Hearing Services, said the surgically inserted implants greatly increase a hearing impaired child’s potential for learning and communication.

However, those children require teachers who are specially trained to maximize that potential, she said.

Buehler recently was certified in New York by the Network of Educators of Children with Cochlear Implants, which helps establish educational curriculum for children with implants.

Now, UT can train other teachers to help children with severe hearing loss lead more normal lives, she said.

“Children with cochlear implants have potential to make much more progress toward normal development than children with hearing aids,” Buehler said. “Teaching these children requires specialized training.

“We now have a state program training program for professionals who can teach children with cochlear implants to realize their full developmental potential.”

The program is part of the audiology and speech pathology department in UT-Knoxville’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Buehler, an audiologist and speech pathologist, said UT’s Child Hearing Services provides communication and development treatment for 54 children with hearing loss, including 14 who have cochlear implants.

Contact:    Mike Bradley (423-975-2225)

                 Velvet Buehler (423-974-1804)