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Early Learing Program

Excellence and Innovation for Today and the Future
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Pediatric Audiology

Audiology services are provided in Tucson and Phoenix to enable early fitting of hearing aids and to support the managing community Audiologist Phoenix and Tucson Early Learning Programs have Audiology support available up to 8 hours per week.

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Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

ASDB Early Learning Program has 13 full time and a handful of part time Master level Teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing with early childhood endorsement available to support families having children with hearing loss throughout all of Arizona

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Teachers of the Visually Impaired

ASDB Early Learning Program has 4 full time and a handful of part time Master level Certified Teachers of the Visually Impaired with early childhood endorsement available to support families having children with visual impairments throughout all of Arizona.

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Parent Toddler Classes

Parent Toddler classes are offered weekly to families in Tucson and in Phoenix. These classes are offered to children age 18 mo of age and older in Tucson and 2 yrs of age and older in Phoenix.

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Listening and Spoken Language Support

The ASDB Early Learning Program has a Certified Auditory Verbal Educator on staff to provide ongoing training and support to the Early Childhood Hearing Teachers and to families choosing a Listening and Spoken Language Approach to Communication.

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American Sign Language/Deaf Mentor Support

The Family Mentor program provides children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families the opportunity to interact with and learn from a Deaf or Hard of Hearing adult. Families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing ages 0-5 can receive support from a Deaf Mentor. Birth to 3 families receive home based visits.

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American Sign Language Classes

Weekly sign language classes are offered to families in both Tucson and Phoenix. Please discuss the time and location of these classes with your Early Learning Teacher.

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Parent to Parent Support and Family Gatherings

ASDB Early Learning Teachers make an effort to provide opportunities for families to network with each other by planning family events and gatherings on our own and in cooperation with our programs such as Arizona Hands and Voices.

Early Learning Program

The ASDB Early Learning (ELP) Program works in partnership with the Arizona Early Intervention Program to provide early intervention services to infants and toddlers (birth to age three) all over the state of Arizona who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, blind, visually impaired or deafblind. Services are provided directly within the home and other natural learning environments by certified teachers and specialists. Services to children and their families are based on individual child needs and determined by the development of an Individualized Family Service Plan. Learning opportunities specific to each child’s sensory-based learning needs are also offered,such as American Sign Language and/or Listening and Spoken Language instruction for deaf/hard-of-hearing children and Orientation and Mobility services for children who are blind/visually impaired. Families with a deaf child also have the opportunity to participate in ELP’s Deaf Mentor Program.

ECFE professionals provide families with information about all learning opportunities available to their child. Parents are instructed and coached on the best ways for each individual child to access his or her learning environment and acquire foundational skills critical to development: cognitive, communication, physical and social-emotional. The ELP team also coordinates parent-toddler classes, parent support groups and family gatherings which offer invaluable co-learning, networking and support opportunities for families.

Dr. Kendra Benedict

Statewide Director of Early Learning

Dr. Benedict holds principal and teacher certification from the State of Arizona, a Ph.D. and an M.A. in Special Education from the University of Arizona, and a B.S. in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from Northern Arizona University. In pursuit of her doctoral degree, she designed and conducted intervention studies to inform her practice. Her scholarly activities have resulted in numerous peer-reviewed publications and national and international conference presentations. Dr. Benedict continues to enjoy her work in higher education, teaching classes for the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University.

In addition to her experience in the public schools and higher education, Dr. Benedict has experience in the nonprofit sector, overseeing operations of residential services, home- and community-based services, and day programs for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Just prior to joining ASDB’s preschool team, she led a team of 250 managerial, supervisory, and direct support staff that through teamwork, innovation, and personal accountability provided continuity of care to 300 adults with disabilities and their families across the state.

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