Idaho State University has received $2.2 million to train students and teachers to work with those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, the Idaho Capital Sun reported.
The grant funding over five years – two grants from the Office of Special Education Personnel Preparation – will help pay for the Idaho Hearing Education and Aural Rehabilitation program’s (HEAR program) schooling for 42 students studying to become service providers in speech language pathology or audiology. The program’s first cohort will be accepted Fall 2024.
“The model we have running family-to-family support through a university is unique in the country and comes with benefits that are particularly helpful in a rural state like Idaho,” said Idaho State professor Dr. Kristina Blaiser, grant recipient and HEAR program principal investigator. “The integration of technology helps bring families together, regardless of their geographic locations. Instead of feeling isolated with a low incidence diagnosis, families feel connected and empowered.”
The money will also support teachers working with children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.
The state of Idaho is currently facing a shortage of speech language pathologists, audiologists and early intervention personnel, Idaho State officials said.