Seminar Series

The HESP Department sponsors a series of talks on current research in the areas of hearing, speech, and language by visiting researchers or members of the HESP faculty. All students, faculty, staff, and affiliates are welcome and encouraged to attend. If you would like to join the email distribution list for all upcoming HESP Seminar Series talks, email Dr. Matt Goupell at

Certification Maintenance Hours can be earned by attending these talks.

Spring 2017 Schedule 

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Dr. Naama TsachSchool of Education, Tel-Aviv University"The Inclusion of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students in Mainstream Education: Classroom Participation and its Relationship to Communication, Academic, and Social Performance"Various studies indicate the challenges faced by mainstreamed Deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) students in terms of academic achievements and social-emotional functioning. However, few studies have addressed and described the students' functioning during class. The purpose of the present study was to examine the classroom participation of mainstreamed DHH students, and to assess their feelings in class as well as their communication, social and academic performance in comparison to those of their normal hearing (NH) classmates. The relation between the classroom participation of DHH students and their communicational, social and academic performance were assessed as well. Method: 35 mainstreamed students with moderate to profound hearing loss (HL) and 35 of their classmates with NH participated in this study. The students' classroom participation was assessed using an observation tool which enabled quantitative assessment of students' behaviors in typical class situations including: teacher asking questions or giving instructions, classmates speaking, and the observed student's participating without the teacher's prompt. In addition, we assessed the students' feelings during class, social performance, academic achievements (mathematics and language), speech perception in noise, speech intelligibility, and language performance (semantics, morphology and grammar). Results: Classroom observation indicated that DHH students made more eye contact with the students participating in the class, and needed more help from both the teacher and their classmates in order to follow the teacher's instructions. DHH students had less positive affects during class and more negative feelings. Differences were found to the detriment of DHH students in their self-control as well as in their interpersonal relationships. Differences between the groups were also found in speech perception in noise. However, no differences were found in academic achievements, speech intelligibility, and language performance. DHH students made less eye contact with their classmates as their hearing loss got more severe. In addition, their ability to follow the teacher's instructions correlated with their semantic performance and social behavior. Discussion: The results reflect the classroom participation challenges faced by DHH students and highlight the fact that even DHH students who demonstrate relatively good oral communication skills and academic achievements, still experience significant difficulties in mainstream educational settings. These findings demonstrate the importance of class participation assessment as a major component in the inclusion evaluation of DHH students. A comprehensive evaluation including classroom participation will contribute to the understanding of these students' daily challenges and will create a platform for more efficient rehabilitation programs leading to a more successful inclusion.Tawes 1310


Tiara BoothUMDHESP Honors Defense: "The effect of a foreign accent on the short-term memory of school-aged children"There is a significant amount of research that explores the way adults are affected by novel accented speech (Barker & Turner, 2014), but there is less research conducted with children. As children begin school, they have a higher chance of being exposed to novel speech,including foreign accented speech. Because children have smaller memory spans than adults, it is possible that children may have fewer resources available for factors requiring extra processingsuch as foreign accents. This study explored the effect of a Slavic accent on children between the ages of 4 and 6 years old as they conducted a short-term memory instruction task. Ultimately, the three main components explored were the effect of the accent, the children’s memory skills, and the combined interaction between accent and memory. Results showed that the participants performed worse when hearing the foreign accent and when hearing longer instructions, but therewas no interaction between the two components. Thus, while a foreign accent made speech recognition more difficult for the children, it did not affect their ability to remember information.LeFrak 2208


MA SLP StudentsUMDMA Student Data BlitzCome hear about what our MA in SLP students have been working on! LeFrak 2208



AuD StudentsUMDAuD Capstone Research DayCome learn about the capstone research projects our audiology students have been working on!Patterson 2124


Nora LeonardUMDHESP Honors Defense-LeFrak 2208


Brittany JaekelUMDCandidacy Project Defense: "Age effects on perceptual restoration of degraded interrupted sentences"Adult cochlear-implant (CI) users show small or non-existent perceptual restoration effects when listening to interrupted speech. Perceptual restoration is believed to be a top-down mechanism that enhances speech perception in adverse listening conditions, and appears to be particularly utilized by older normal-hearing (NH) listeners. How aging and degraded speech (as would be presented through a CI speech processor) interact in the context of perceptual restoration, and whether older listeners can derive any restoration benefits from degraded speech, is the focus of this study. The present study tested two groups of NH listeners (younger: <35 years; older: ≥60 years) for perceptual restoration effects using interrupted sentences. Perceptual restoration was measured as the improvement in speech understanding with noise burst interruptions compared to silent-gap interruptions. Speech signal degradations were controlled by manipulating parameters of a noise vocoder and were used to analyze effects of spectral resolution and noise burst spectral content on perceptual restoration. Creating starker perceptual differences between speech and interrupting noise through increased spectral resolution and spectral content of noise bursts may be necessary for the effect to occur. Individual variability in perceptual restoration and possible mechanisms for the effect were explored using results from cognitive and language measures.LeFrak 0135


Seminar Series Archive: 

To see a list of previous HESP Seminars click here.


Certification Maintenance Hours:

Those who attend these seminars will be awarded Certification Maintenance Hours (CMHs). A CMH is 60 minutes of time spent as a learner and participant in a non-ASHA CEU professional development activity. CMHs are different from ASHA-approved CEUs, which are also offered through the department. ASHA permits the use of CMHs for the purpose of maintaining your CCCs. However, you are responsible for maintaining documentation verifying completion of each activity. Documentation will not be maintained on the ASHA CE Registry. For additional information about CMHs and ASHA certification requirements, please click here. Please be aware that state regulatory agencies and boards of education might not recognize or accept CMHs.

Extracting meaning from auditory signals: A look at how children process variation in language