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The Institute for Parents of Preschool Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

The Institute for Parents of Preschool Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing will have a new format for 2021.

Date/Time: Monday, June 7, 2021 - Friday, June 18, 2021, All Day via Zoom.

This year's event will be a two-week virtual program (FREE) that provides support and information for parents of children ages 7 and under who have a significant hearing loss. It will take place via Zoom from June 7-18. Participating parents and caregivers will attend daily lectures by experts in the field to learn about raising a child with hearing loss.

Lecture topics include:

Child development

Types of hearing loss

Language development

Communication choices

Hearing aids and cochlear implants

Deaf culture

Parent rights

School programming

There is no cost for families to participate. IPads may also be available to check out at no cost for families without the right technology to participate from home. UIC's Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC) supports the Institute, along with other sponsors. Click on the 2021 Institute brochures below for more details.

2021 Institute - English (pdf)

2021 Institute - Spanish (pdf) 

To sign up or learn more information, contact DSCC at (800) 322-3722 or

Institute is a team effort of: Illinois Department of Human Services: Department of Rehabilitation Services, Illinois School for the Deaf and Bureau of Early Intervention; Illinois State Board of Education; University of Illinois at Chicago - Division of Specialized Care for Children; and other state and local groups for people with a hearing loss.

2019 Video Presentations:

Please click on the links below to watch 2019 video presentations from experts in the field on a range of topics affecting children who are deaf or hard of hearing:

IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act):

Part 1 -

Part 2 -

This presentation focuses on what families need to know about the laws that protect their children. Participants will learn the differences between a 504 Plan and an individualized education program (IEP), how a child qualifies for a 504 Plan and an IEP, and more.


This presentation educates families on how to advocate for their child. Families will learn and understand their rights as parents and will gain knowledge and understanding of how the "system" works. Families will also learn strategies and techniques for advocating for their child.

Communication Options

This session educates families on communication options for their child. Families will learn about communication modes and the differences and similarities between different choices, including American Sign Language/English Bilingualism, Signing Exact English/Signed English, Total Communication, Cued Speech and more.


Part 1 -

Part 2 -

The main goal of this session is to educate families about hearing loss and the development of speech and language skills. Families will learn about audiology testing and process, the different communication options, rationale for early intervention, speech and language evaluation and treatments, best indicators for best outcomes and listening strategies.

Assistive Listening Devices

Families will learn about the two different types of assistive listening devices (FM, or Frequency Modulation, and DM, or Digital Modulation systems) and how they operate.


Part 1 -

Part 2 -

Families will gain a basic understanding of the Six Early Skills Predictive of Later Literacy Achievement and The Five Early Skills Moderately Predicative of Later Literacy Achievement. This session is designed to provide families with hands-on tips and activities they can do to increase their child's literacy development.


This session educates families about amplification options, including hearing aids, bone conduction devices and cochlear implants.