About this Issue: Literacy Achievements by Children Who Are Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing in the New Era
In Issue 2 of Volume 35 of TLD, Dr. Barbara Arfé, from the University of Padua in Italy, has assembled a group of international and interdisciplinary authors to address the topic of “Literacy Achievements by Children Who Are Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing in the New Era.” In a new era that has brought earlier identification and earlier and better cochlear implantation and digital hearing aid fitting, some of the barriers have been lowered to language and literacy acquisition by children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Yet challenges remain and there are still more questions than answers. Nevertheless, evidence is accumulating that can lead to deeper understanding of the issues and how to address them.
I invite you to delve into the articles in this issue and to think about what we can do better. Margaret Harris addresses questions about the degree to which improvements in reading outcomes can be associated with comprehensive newborn screening programs and improved hearing aid and cochlear implant technologies. Barbara Arfé addresses the question with attention to the role played by verbal working memory in underpinning oral and written communication.
My colleague and I (Nickola Nelson & Teresa Crumpton) present data comparing the oral and written profiles of DHH school-age children and adolescents on a new test of oral and written language. Fiona Kyle and Kate Cain look more specifically at reading comprehension profiles of deaf and hearing children. Susan Sullivan and Jane Oakhill address the practical question of how to support story comprehension in preparation for improved reading comprehension among novice readers. Although gaps remain in the literacy performance of children and adolescents challenged by hearing loss, the future is brighter than at any time in the past. Clinicians and researchers should both find plenty of information in this issue to help them ask new questions and seek better ways to close those remaining gaps.