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Here is your NEWS-Line for Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists eNewsletter. For the latest news, jobs, education and blogs, bookmark our news page and job board or to take us everywhere with you, save this link to your phone. Also, enjoy the latest issue of NEWS-Line magazine, always free.


Back to School: How to Help Children Who Are Hard of Hearing as They Return to In-Person Learning

As the new school year approaches during a COVID-19 surge, universal masking in schools and other necessary public health measures may present some unique challenges for children who are hard of hearing, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that roughly 15% of school-aged children (ages 6–19 years) have some degree of hearing loss, making this a pressing issue.

Masks and social distancing can pose communication challenges for all children, but this is especially true for those who are hard of hearing. Masks dampen sound. Also, they can eliminate facial cues and prevent lipreading—elements that hard of hearing children often rely upon heavily in order to understand verbal instruction and communicate effectively.

Also, for hard of hearing children who have been learning virtually, shifting t

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NIH-Funded Modern “White Cane” Brings Navigation Assistance To The 21st Century

Equipped with a color 3D camera, an inertial measurement sensor, and its own on-board computer, a newly improved robotic cane could offer blind and visually impaired users a new way to navigate indoors.

When paired with a building’s architectural drawing, the device can accurately guide a user to a desired location with sensory and auditory cues, while simultaneously helping the user avoid obstacles like boxes, furniture, and overhangs. Development of the device was co-funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute (NEI) and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). Details of the updated design were published in the journal IEEE/CAA Journal of Automatica Sinica.

“Many people in the visually impaired community consider the white cane to be their best and most functional navigational tool, despite it being century-old technology,” sai

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What You Need To Know About The Delta Variant

For more than 40 years, UCI infectious disease researcher Michael Buchmeier has studied coronaviruses, and he’s one of the leading experts on SARS-CoV-2, the version of the virus causing the COVID-19 pandemic. As a more lethal mutation of the virus, called the delta variant, sparks another wave of cases, he offers his expertise about this threat.

How does the delta variant differ from the original form of the COVID-19 coronavirus?

The form of the original coronavirus is really not clear. If, as we think, SARS-CoV-2 appeared in humans after jumping from an animal host, such as a bat, then the sequence may have already contained mutations in its genome that allowed that species jump. Many of the so-called emerging diseases represent jumps from a zoonotic animal host to humans.

The power of this genetic flexibility is characteristic of RNA viruses. This flexibility results in the produ

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ASHA Announces 2021 Media Award Recipients

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) announced the recipients of the organization’s 2021 Media Awards.

The awardees include nine media outlets and two communication sciences and disorders professionals. Annually, the awards recognize outstanding coverage by print, broadcast, and digital outlets and outreach by ASHA Certified Member audiologists and speech-language pathologists (SLPs).

"The essential work of communication professionals has taken on a new urgency during the pandemic,” said ASHA 2021 President A. Lynn Williams, PhD, CCC-SLP. “As our members have risen to address new risks to communication health, these awardees have helped spotlight those issues, as well as the efforts to alleviate them. We at ASHA are happy to honor them.”

ASHA’s 2021 Media Award recipients are:

Print Media

The Washington Post: For “Some people think they have to lose their accent t

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