Imagine what your life would be like without the ability to hear or speak, with no way to communicate your feelings or needs to not only the ones you love but with the world. The Foundation for the Callier Center and Communication Disorders’ purpose is dedicated to improve these conditions by increasing recognition and the image of UT Dallas Callier Center in the community and by helping to carry out fundraising activities. The Callier Center for Communication Disorders mission is to transform the lives of those with communication disorders by providing outstanding, leading-edge clinical services, conduction meaningful and innovative basic and applied research into new treatments and technologies, and training the next generation of caring clinical providers.
Around 4,000 children and adults receive more than 48,000 clinical services annually, including evaluation and treatment from the center. Intervention services for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder, the cochlear implant program for children who are deaf, and speech and language therapy are just a few of the services offered at the Callier Center. The training offered by the center includes graduate programs in audiology and speech-language pathology which is one of the nation’s largest programs and is ranked in the top 5% of U.S. programs according to a U.S. New & World Report survey. At the center, their faculty, students, and clinicians conduct research into the causes, prevention, assessment, and treatment of communication disorders. Their facilities include state-of-the-art laboratories for research in child language development and disorders, autism spectrum disorders, speech production, hearing disorders, neurogenic speech and language disorders, amplification of hearing aids, cochlear implants and aural habilitation. The Callier Center does not discriminate against patients who cannot afford the services that they desperately need and more than half the children that they serve need financial assistance.
The recipient of the Ruthie’s Snacks of Kindness for July was the Callier Center’s Cochlear Implant Summer Listening Camp. The camp is for children ages 4 – 11 who have cochlear implants. A cochlear implant is a small, complex electronic device that can help to provide a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard-of-hearing. Campers receive listening and speech-language therapy throughout the week and are also able to spend time with other children who have cochlear implants, and family members come together to share information. Ruthie’s also held a donation drive to collect art supplies for the campers.
Director of Speech-Language Pathology Clinical Services Cochlear Implant Program Manager, Melissa Sweeney “began working for the Callier Center at UT Dallas because [she] saw it as a place that provides hope to families of those with communication disorders.” Callier allows speech pathologists and audiologists to partner with families on their journeys in helping their loved one improve their communication skills. For Melissa, “it was [her] love for working with children who are deaf or hard of hearing and Callier’s family-centered care” that drew her to the Callier. She believes that “communication is a basic human need and right. Callier transforms lives by providing treatment to those with communication disorders and improving their ability to interact in the world around them.” Serving the campers some gooey grilled cheese was not only fun for the campers but for the Ruthie’s staff as well! Ruthie’s mascot, Ruthie the pig was in attendance and gave out stickers and hugs to all the campers. “Watching the campers with big smiles on their faces as they hugged Ruthie and used speech to order their grilled cheese sandwiches is one amazing example of the power of communication!” Visit the Callier Center for Communication Disorders website for more information on how you can be a hear-o!