Six high school students who wear cochlear implants or hearing aids—and their families—recently spent a weekend near Dallas enjoying summer camp. The teens participated in typical camp activities like swimming and fishing, while their parents and siblings learned what it’s like to wear hearing amplification devices. Camp CHAT (Communication Habilitation via Audition for Teens) is directed by audiologist and professor Linda Thibodeau and offered by the Callier Center for Communication Disorders at the University of Texas at Dallas.
“We provide amplification sets for the normal-hearing siblings so they can try the wireless technology. And many of them say, ‘I didn’t know it would sound like this. You wear this all day long?’ It gives the family more empathy for the one who is wearing the technology all day long,” Thibodeau stated in an article about the camp.
Each teen also gets the undivided attention of a doctoral student studying aural rehabilitation. In addition to working with a specific camper, the graduate students also design and execute outdoor activities using the amplification devices. The camp gives graduate students experience outside a classroom, while campers and their families get to meet others who share their same challenges.
Shelley D. Hutchins is a content editor/producer for The ASHA Leader. firstname.lastname@example.org.