A state of Georgia school established in 1972, AASD is devoted to providing quality, comprehensive, full-day instructional services to infants, children, and youth who are deaf, including persons with multiple disabilities. Classroom programs range from Pre-K through 12. Students experience a range of academic, vocational, and social activities.
Established in 1938, the Atlanta Speech School is a comprehensive center for language and literacy. Our four schools, five clinics, summer programs and professional development center all share one common mission: to work within each program and collaborate across all programs to help each person develop his or her full potential through language and literacy.
AVC is a nonprofit organization that offers comprehensive Auditory-Verbal therapy and a full-service Audiology & Hearing Aid Clinic. AVC focuses on listening and spoken language, with locations in Atlanta and Macon and for those families who can't make the drive, they offer teletherapy. AVC teaches all children with any degree of hearing loss how to listen and speak without the use of sign language or lip reading.
Statewide early intervention services for children with bilateral hearing loss of any degree and/or significant developmental delay – Georgia’s IDEA Part C Program.
Children 1st is the “Single Point of Entry” to a statewide collaborative system of public health and other prevention based programs and services. Children 1st is Georgia’s system for linking families
CHOA offers auditory verbal therapy for children with hearing loss. Through auditory-verbal therapy, children with mild through profound hearing loss may become independent, contributing citizens in a regular learning and living environment. The approach uses a guiding set of principles to maximize the use of hearing devices and residual sound.
Statewide Public Health program for children, birth to age 21 that assists families with children that have chronic medical problems including hearing loss.
Columbus Speech & Hearing Center provides diagnostic and rehabilitative audiology, speech-language pathology and neuro-psychological services. Their dedicated staff works together to provide the highest quality care in a professional, comfortable, nurturing environment.
Statewide initiative to develop and sustain a comprehensive coordinated system for Universal Newborn Hearing Screening in Georgia to assure that all newborns receive a hearing screen prior to hospital discharge, infants with hearing loss are diagnosed by 3 months of age, and are referred for appropriate intervention by 6 months of age.
The Georgia Academy of Audiology is a professional organization of audiologists and friends of the audiology community that promotes quality hearing and balance care by advancing the profession of audiology through leadership, advocacy, education, public awareness, and support of research.
GCDHH is a statewide nonprofit organization that provides a variety of assistive services to the deaf and hard of hearing, their family members and friends, local state and federal agencies.
Georgia Charitable Care Organization
In 2022, the Georgia Public Service Commission awarded the Georgia Charitable Care Network the contract to serve as the administrator of the Hearing Aid Distribution Program. The program, funded by the Public Service Commission, provides hearings aids to low-income Georgia residents. GCCN will coordinate the care referrals between the patients, audiologists and hearing aid manufacturers, providing great service to all.
The Georgia Commission for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing was created in 2007 and serves to:
- Advocate on behalf of persons who are deaf or hard of hearing by working to ensure those persons have equal access to the services, programs, and opportunities available to others.
- Assist persons who are deaf or hard of hearing and parents of persons who are deaf or hard of hearing who are students in advocating for equal access to services, programs, and opportunities.
- Advise the governor, general assembly, commissioner of Human Services, and commissioner of Community Health on the development of policies, programs, and services affecting persons who are deaf or hard of hearing and on the use of appropriate federal and state moneys for such purposes.
- Create a public awareness of the special needs and potential of persons who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- Recommend to the governor, general assembly, commissioner of Human Services, and commissioner of Community Health legislation designed to improve the economic and social conditions of persons who are deaf or hard of hearing in this state.
- Propose solutions to problems of persons who are deaf or hard of hearing in the areas of education, employment, human rights, human services, health, housing, and other related programs.
- Work with other state and federal agencies and private organizations to promote economic development for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Coordinate its efforts with other state and local agencies serving persons who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Georgia DOE oversees public education throughout the state.
The Georgia Hands & Voices Chapter is dedicated to supporting Georgia families with children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing without a bias around communication modes or methodology. Hands & Voices is a parent-driven, non-profit organization providing families with the resources, networks, and information they need to improve communication access and educational outcomes for their children. Outreach activities, parent professional collaboration, and advocacy efforts are focused on enabling Deaf and Hard of Hearing children to reach their highest potential.
Georgia Hands & Voices™ Guide By Your Side™ (GBYS) is a family support program that embodies the mission of Hands & Voices, which is to provide support and resources in an unbiased manner to families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH). GBYS does this with specially trained parents of children with deafness or hearing loss who work as “guides” directly with families who have just learned their child cannot hear, or who have older children and are in need of the unique family support.
Statewide program funded by the Georgia DOE, providing free family training home visits and visits in natural environments for families of children, birth to five years of age, with hearing/vision loss to develop auditory, speech, and language skills. Georgia PINES also provides loaner hearing aids, occupational and physical therapy, parent workshops, and collaborates with other agencies.
The Georgia Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf endeavors to promote initiatives to further the profession of Sign Language Interpreting through a statewide alliance of professional interpreters, students of the profession, and consumers of interpreting services.
Telephone services that enable people who have difficulty hearing or speaking to communicate with conventional phone users over standard phone lines.
Georgia School for the Deaf (GSD)
(800) 497-3371 or (706) 777-2200
For more than 160 years, GSD has provided for the educational, social, and emotional needs of Georgia’s deaf and hard-of-hearing children. GSD is a residential school.
GSAP provides technical assistance to children with deaf or blindness, from birth through 21 years of age, and to their families and service providers. Technical assistance may include in-home consultation, school consultation, family support, networking, demonstration site development, in-services, weekend retreats, summer institutes, loaner bank, material and monograph development, statewide advisory program, referrals to other agencies, and resources.
Georgia’s parent support and information resource for parents of children diagnosed with disabilities. Site lists both English and Spanish contacts across the state.
The Savannah Speech and Hearing Center provides comprehensive services to people of all ages with speech, language, and/or hearing problems without regard to financial status. The center offers a program, specific for children with hearing impairment, Sound Start. The Sound Start program provides an option for families and their child(ren) with hearing loss to develop the ability to learn to listen, speak and understand spoken language in order to be successful in a mainstream educational setting. Any child with a hearing loss affecting speech and language development is eligible for the school.
The American Academy of Audiology is the world's largest professional organization of, by, and for audiologists. The active membership of more than 12,000 is dedicated to providing quality hearing care services through professional development, education, research, and increased public awareness of hearing and balance disorders.
Gathers and disseminates information on hearing loss, promotes better public understanding of hearing loss in children and adults, provides scholarships and financial and parent-infant awards, promotes early detection of hearing loss in infants, publishes books on deafness, and advocates for the rights of children and adults who are hard of hearing or deaf. Local Georgia chapter information is available.
AADB is a national consumer advocacy organization for people who have combined hearing and vision impairments.
AHRF supports medical research and education into the causes, prevention, and cures of deafness, hearing loss, and balance disorders. AHRF also keeps physicians and the public informed of the latest developments in hearing research and education.
ASLU is an online American Sign Language curriculum resource center. ASLU provides free self-study materials, lessons, and information, as well as fee-based instructor-guided courses. Many instructors use the ASLU lesson pages as the “textbook” for their local ASL classes.
ASDC is a nonprofit parent-helping-parent organization promoting a positive attitude toward signing and deaf culture. Also provides support, encouragement, and current information about deafness to families with deaf and hard-of-hearing children.
ASHA is a professional organization for speech-language pathologists and audiologists, which has an online directory of providers. ASHA provides informational materials and a toll-free HELPLINE number for inquiries about speech, language, or hearing problems.
BEGINNINGS provides parents accurate, objective information about hearing loss, could make sound decisions for their child. These decisions involve placement, communication methodology, and related service needs. Our staff is committed to providing services in a family-centered atmosphere to facilitate the active involvement of parents in their child’s social, emotional, and educational growth.
The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) is a not-for-profit corporation that educates the public about the neglected problem of hearing loss and what can be done about it. BHI works to erase the stigma and end the embarrassment that prevents millions of people from seeking help for hearing loss and promote treatment for hearing impairment.
The CDC provides funds and educational materials to state EHDI programs to assist with EHDI activities and supports research on the cause of hearing loss, surveillance systems, and the long-term effects of early intervention.
Provides fact sheets, state resource sheets, and general information to assist parents, educators, caregivers, and advocates in helping children and youth with disabilities participate as fully as possible in their community. Also publishes Technical Assistance Guides, Students’ Guides, briefing papers, and annotated bibliographies on selected topics; many publications are available in Spanish and all are available on the Internet.
Easter Seals provides services to assist children and families with disabilities overcome obstacles to independence and reach his or her personal goals. Easter Seals includes families as active members of any therapy program and offers the support families need. The website provides links to information about Easter Seals programs in North, East, Middle, and South Georgia.
Data Sharing Partnerships Improve Systems: IDEA Part C and EHDI
Family Voices aims to achieve family-centered care for all children and youth with special health care needs and/or disabilities. Through a national network, they provide families tools to make informed decisions, advocate for improved public and private policies, build partnerships among professionals and families, and serve as a trusted resource on healthcare.
Hands & Voices is dedicated to supporting families with children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing without a bias around communication modes or methodology. Hands & Voices is a parent-driven, non-profit organization providing families with the resources, networks, and information they need to improve communication access and educational outcomes for their children. Outreach activities, parent-professional collaboration, and advocacy efforts are focused on enabling Deaf and Hard of Hearing children to reach their highest potential.
HLAA promotes awareness and information about hearing loss, communication, assistive devices, and alternative communication skills through publications, exhibits, and presentations.
The mission of the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youth and Adults (HKNC) is to enable all those who are deaf-blind to live and work in the community of their choice. It provides comprehensive vocational rehabilitation training at its headquarters in New York and assistance with job and residential placements when training is completed. Services in the field include 10 regional offices, over 40 affiliated agencies, a National Training Team and an Older Adult Program. HKNC also maintains a national registry of individuals who are deaf-blind.
The IDEA Partnership is dedicated to improving outcomes for students and youth with disabilities by joining state agencies and stakeholders through shared work and learning. The IDEA Partnership facilitates interaction and shared work across professional and family organizations around common interests.
The Let Them Hear Foundation (LTHF) helps hearing-impaired individuals to H.E.A.R., specifically those lacking adequate access to funding and healthcare resources. LTHF provides Hearing services for underprivileged American youth; Education for professional and public sectors per cochlear implant hearing healthcare issues and practices; Access development for under-served persons through insurance advocacy and overseas medical missionary efforts; and Research concerning treatment for ear disease and function.
Developed by the Boys Town National Research Hospital (BTNRH), an internationally recognized center for state-of-the art research, diagnosis and treatment of individuals with ear diseases, hearing and balance disorders, cleft lip and palate, and speech/language problems. The website contains valuable information for parents of babies and young children recently diagnosed with hearing loss.
A project to promote the development of newborn hearing screening programs and provide technical assistance and resource information about the impact of early intervention with babies with hearing loss.
The National Cued Speech Association supports effective communication, language development and literacy in individuals, families and children alike through the use of Cued Speech.
Collects and provides information related to children and youth (ages 0-21) who are deaf-blind. The center connects consumers of deaf-blind information to sources of information about deaf blindness, assistive technology, and deaf-blind people. NCDB is a collaborative effort involving the Helen Keller National Center, Perkins School for the Blind, and Teaching Research.
A non-profit, volunteer-based family association. 12 Georgia Department of Public Health
A federally funded part of the National Institute of Health dedicated to research in hearing and communication disorders. Website contains web links to current research information about hearing loss.
Oral deaf education is a collaborative, family-centered educational approach that develops a child’s speech and listening abilities along with confidence and life skills to meet the challenges of the greater world. This means that parents and family play a key role right from the start. Oral deaf education integrates the earliest and most natural intervention, the most current and inclusive education along with current hearing technologies, to enable children with a hearing loss to learn to listen and talk.
Pepnet 2 (pn2) is a federally funded project whose mission is to increase the education, career, and lifetime choices available to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. Pepnet 2 recognizes the full range of postsecondary education, training and employment options available for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and strives to enhance the capacity of those institutions to appropriately serve this diverse population. Pn2 is a national collaboration of professionals with expertise in a broad array of content areas and a variety of environments, including research, technology, personnel development, media production, and technical assistance.
Center provides information and referral for parents and educators of deafness-related topics and Signing Exact English (SEE) and also provides evaluation of sign skills, workshops, and consulting services.
Glossary of Terms
Acoustics: Pertaining to sound, the sense of hearing or the science of sound. Often used to refer to the quality of the sound environment.
Acquired hearing loss: Hearing loss that is not present at birth. Sometimes referred to as adventitious loss.
Advocacy: This term refers to the role parents or guardians play in developing and monitoring their child’s educational program. Advocating for your child means knowing what rights the law assures you and actively participating in the decision-making process to ensure that the services are in line with your goals for your child’s development and education.
Ambient noise: Background noise that competes with the main speech signal.
American Sign Language (ASL): American Sign Language is a separate language from English. It doesn’t follow the same sentence structure as English. ASL uses the body, face and hands to communicate language.
Amplification: The use of hearing aids and other electronic devices to increase the loudness of a sound so that it may be more easily received and understood.
Assistive communication devices: Devices and systems that are available to help deaf and hard of hearing people improve communication, adapt to their environment, and function in society more effectively.
Audiogram: A graph that reads a person’s ability to hear different pitches (frequencies) at different volumes (intensities) of sound.
Audiologist: A professional who treats and supports people with hearing loss or balance disorders. New graduates must get their Doctorate in Audiology. Audiologists may be certified by ASHA, AAA or ABA.
Audism: Discrimination or prejudice against individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Auditory brainstem response (ABR): A non-invasive test that measures responses in the brain waves to auditory stimulus. This test can indicate if sound is being detected, even in an infant. This test may also be called BAER, BSEP and BSER.
Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD): A hearing disorder where sound enters the inner ear normally but the transmission of signals from the inner ear to the brain is impaired.
Auditory steady state responses (ASSR): Like the ABR, the ASSR measures the brainstem’s responses to particular auditory stimuli. This non-invasive, painless test is done while the child is sleeping. ASSR technology gives the audiologist another way to determine your child’s hearing across different frequencies. The equipment has higher upper limits than ABR equipment, allowing the audiologist to more accurately differentiate between severe and profound hearing loss in infants.
Auditory-verbal therapy (AVT): A method for teaching children who are deaf or hard of hearing to listen and speak using their residual hearing and the use of amplification devices such as hearing aids, cochlear implants and FM devices. AVT emphasizes speech and listening.
Auditory-verbal education: A certified Listening and Spoken Language Specialist (LSLS ) educator teaches children who are deaf or hard of hearing to listen and talk exclusively through listening and spoken language.
Bilingual/bicultural: Belonging to both a hearing/English language culture and Deaf Community/ASL culture.
Bone anchored hearing aid (BAHA): A type of hearing aid that conducts sound to the inner ear through the mastoid bone (the large bony mass just behind the ear) instead of by directing amplified sound at the ear drum. Since a BAHA bypasses the middle ear, people who have a conductive hearing loss may find a BAHA an effective way to hear.
Bone conduction: Sound received through the bones of the skull.
Cochlear implant (CI): A cochlear implant is an electronic device that is surgically implanted in the cochlea of the inner ear. It transmits auditory information directly to the brain, bypassing damaged or absent auditory nerves. Technically, it synthesizes hearing of all sounds, but the wearer needs training to attach meaning to the sounds. This is called auditory habilitation. Typically, cochlear implant users have severe to profound hearing losses and do not get much benefit from hearing aids. Successful CI users gain useful hearing and improved communication abilities.
Conditioned play audiometry (CPA): In play audiometry, the audiologist helps the child understand the rules for playing a game. For example, the child learns to drop a block into a container to show that she heard a sound. Play audiometry is generally used when the child is at least 18 months old.
Conductive hearing loss: Sound waves do not reach the inner ear through the normal air conduction channels of the outer and middle ear. This is often caused by middle ear infections. In children, conductive loss is typically medically correctable.
Congenital hearing loss: Hearing loss present at birth, associated with the birth process, or that develops in the first few days of life.
Deaf: Medically, this means a severe hearing loss that prevents the child from hearing spoken language. Socially, “Deaf ” with a capital letter “D” refers to the cultural heritage and community of deaf individuals, such as the Deaf culture or Deaf community. In this context, it applies to people who mostly use visual communication.
Deaf blindness: A combined loss of vision and hearing that affects educational needs.
Decibel (dB): The unit of measurement for the loudness of a sound. The higher the dB, the louder the sound.
Ear mold: A custom made plastic or vinyl piece that fits into the outer ear to connect with a hearing aid.
Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT): A medical doctor, who specializes in the ears, nose and throat. Sometimes referred to as an otolaryngologist or otologist.
Finger spelling: Finger spelling uses a standardized series of handshapes to form words. Each letter has its own particular shape. Usually it is used when there is no sign for a certain word.
FM system: An assistive listening device worn by the speaker to amplify her voice and transmit it directly to the listener’s ears via an electronic receiver and special earphones or the listener’s own hearing aids or cochlear implants. The device reduces background noise interference and the problem of distance between speaker and listener.
Frequency: The number of vibrations per second of a sound. Frequency, expressed in Hertz (Hz), determines the pitch of the sound.
Gain: Describes how much the amplification helps. For example, a child with unaided hearing at 70 dB who hears at 30dB when amplified has a gain of 40 dB.
Hard of hearing: A hearing loss, whether permanent or fluctuating, that makes it harder to detect and decipher some sounds.
The term preferred by the Deaf and hard of hearing community to refer to individuals who have hearing loss, but also have and use residual hearing.
Hearing screening: Tests the ability to hear selected frequencies at intensities above normal hearing. Aims to identify people with hearing loss quickly and to refer them for further testing.
Hearing aid: An electronic device that conducts and amplifies sound to the ear.
Huggies: The brand name of a plastic-ringed device designed to “hug” the hearing aid to the ear. Popular for infants and toddlers whose ears may be too small to hold the hearing aid snugly in place.
Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP): The IFSP is a plan that parents or guardians write with input from a multi- disciplinary team (see “Part C”). The IFSP: Describes the family’s strengths, needs, concerns and priorities; Identifies support services available to meet those needs; Empowers the family to meet the developmental needs of their infant or toddler with a disability.
Individualized Education Program (IEP): A team-developed, written program to identify therapeutic and educational goals and objectives for a school-aged student with a disability. An IEP for a child who is deaf or hard of hearing must include that child’s Communication Plan.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): The IDEA is a federal law (108– 446) that outlines standards that states need to follow for providing early intervention services to families with children who have disabilities, including children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Part C provides services to children birth to three years of age with disabilities. Part B covers educational mandates for students age three through high school graduation or age-out of the system.
Intensity: The loudness of a sound, measured in decibels (dB).
Interpreter: A person who facilitates communication between hearing and deaf or hard of hearing persons by interpreting spoken language into a signed language, or transliteration of a language into a visual and/or phonemic code. For example, oral interpreter, signed language interpreters and cued speech interpreters.
Intonation: The aspect of speech made up of changes in stress and pitch in the voice.
Listening and Spoken Language: An approach that emphasizes speech and listening to teach children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Listening and Spoken Language Specialist (LSLS): LSLS are licensed speech-language pathologists, audiologists or educators of the deaf who have become specialists in supporting children who are deaf or hard of hearing develop spoken language and literacy primarily through listening.
Mapping: The term for programming a cochlear implant to optimize the cochlear implant user’s access to sound.
Oral: An unspecific term that is sometimes used when referring to people with hearing loss and deafness who talk but don’t necessarily use sign language. They use residual hearing, assistive technology, lip reading and contextual cues to communicate using spoken language.
Otitis media: A middle ear infection. Children with recurring episodes may experience fluctuating hearing loss and may be at risk for speech/ language delays. Fluid can be present with or without infection and may cause temporary hearing loss, which can evolve into permanent loss.
Oto-Acoustic Emissions (OAE): A test that verifies cochlear activity, often used to check a baby’s hearing in the first day or two after birth. This test uses a probe placed in the ear canal releases quiet sounds and measures the response from the cochlea.
Otologist: A physician who specializes in medical problems of the ear.
Output: The amount of amplification (loudness) that a hearing aid produces. Measured in decibels.
Part B: The section of IDEA about special education and support services available to eligible children from three to 21 years of age.
Part C: The section of IDEA about diagnostic and early intervention services available to eligible children from birth through two years of age and their families.
Real-ear measurement: A test to measure the hearing aid output by using a “probe microphone” in the ear canal. It assesses how effectively the hearing aid amplifiers sound in the ear. Every ear canal is shaped differently so it is important to test actual hearing aid function in each person.
Residual hearing: The amount of usable hearing that a person with hearing loss has.
Signed Exact English (SEE): Signing Exact English is different from American Sign Language (ASL). SEE follows spoken English exactly and is designed to be used together with speech to help your child understand and use language.
Sensorineural: A type of hearing loss caused by damage to the inner ear (cochlea) and/or nerve of hearing. Sensorineural damage is usually irreversible.
Sign language: The use of sign patterns made with the hands, face and body to express the speaker’s thoughts. There are different ways to use sign language—see American Sign Language (ASL), finger spelling, Signed Exact English (SEE).
Simultaneous communication: An approach for educating children who are deaf or hard of hearing that consists of the simultaneous use of both a spoken language and a manual (signed) form of that language (such as English and Signed Exact English).
Sound field system: An assistive listening device that can be helpful in classrooms. The teacher wears a microphone to transmit and amplify sound through strategically placed speakers.
Speech Reception Threshold (SRT): The faintest level at which a person can identify 50 percent of the simple spoken words presented and repeat them correctly.
Speech Language Pathologist (SLP): A professional who works with people who have specific speech and language needs.
Speech Awareness Threshold (SAT): The faintest level at which a person can identify 50 percent of the spoken words presented and point to pictures or repeat them correctly.
Speech banana (speech zone): The area on an audiogram (graph) that shows the range of decibels and frequencies where most of the sounds of speech occur. It’s called the “speech banana” because of the shape of the area on the graph. The purpose of wearing hearing aids, cochlear implants and other assistive technology is to amplify sound into this zone.
Speechreading: A way to interpret and understand speech that relies on visual cues, sometimes called “lip reading.” The speechreader watches lip and mouth movements, facial expressions and gestures, and considers structural characteristics of language and contextual clues.
Total communication: The philosophy of educating children who are deaf or hard of hearing that makes use of a number of modes of communication: formal signs, natural gestures, fingerspelling, body language, listening, lip-reading and speech. Children in these programs typically wear hearing aids or cochlear implants.
Tympanogram: A pressure or “impedance” test that tells how the ear canal, eardrum, eustachian tube and middle ear bones are working. It is not a hearing test.
Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA): A method used to test hearing in young children. For example, the child learns to look at a toy that lights each time she hears a sound.
For a current list of audiologists and health departments in Georgia that serve infants and children, visit the facility locator webpage at: http://sendss.state.ga.us/ords/sendss/!audiologist_locator.search.
The following public organizations are dedicated to providing information for families of infants and children diagnosed with hearing loss and the professionals who work with these individuals. We hope these resources may answer many of the questions you may have.
For a list of private providers in your local area, please contact the EHDI District Coordinator for your county.
Last Updated 12/28/2022