The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB) Speech and Audiology department is actively involved in the Deaf and Blind Departments, meeting the individualized needs of students through the provision of comprehensive services. The department includes a director/audiologist, two audiologists, seven speech-language pathologists, and two speech teachers. All of these professionals maintain licensure through the state of Florida, certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) in their respective fields, and/or teacher certification through the Florida Department of Education. Staff members who work with students in the Deaf Department are proficient in English as well as American Sign Language.
Speech-language therapists work with students in the areas of spoken language articulation, phonology, fluency, voice, vocabulary development and speech reading. Therapy is offered on a one-to-one basis, in small groups, and through consultation. With state reading initiatives, speech therapists work with classroom teachers to address such areas as phonics and phonemic awareness.
A wide variety of techniques are used to promote active participation in skill development while making auditory, speech, and language therapy fun at the same time. Through special activities, students are motivated to use the skills they acquire in therapy. Such activities range from holiday caroling in local nursing homes to field trips to local restaurants where students use their skills to order meals. Students develop, perform, and videotape skits demonstrating their language development. They participate in music activities and create books and poetry which reinforce the use of new vocabulary. Each year, seniors participate in a trip to the St. Augustine Lighthouse as a reward for their continued participation in the speech and language program.
Audiologists provide a wide variety of services focused on meeting the needs of students from pre-school through high school. They provide audiological evaluations, hearing screenings, loaner hearing aid fittings, ear molds, hearing aid repair assistance, and cochlear implant maintenance and repair assistance. Audiology staff members maintain a variety of loaner hearing aids, behind-the-ear FM receivers, and sound field systems.
The FSDB Speech and Audiology department strives to maintain contact with parents, teachers, and boarding staff members. Through these collaborative efforts, speech and auditory goals can be addressed in various environments,thus helping to promote carry-over outside of the therapy room.