THE HART FAMILY COCHLEAR IMPLANT EDUCATION COORDINATOR
Advocating for Children in School: The Hart Family Cochlear Implant Education Coordinator
Started in 2008, with key funding from Louise Hart, founding Board Director for FHSR, the Hart Family Cochlear Implant Education Coordinator at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago is one of 13 such specialists in the U.S. The Education Coordinator plays a crucial role in educating professionals in the community so that children with cochlear implants get the appropriate support level they need.
Over the past year, remote learning and other circumstances posed difficulties for children with hearing loss, Jen Haney, MA, DT-H, the Hart Family Cochlear Implant Education Coordinator, has been a true patient champion, constantly in contact with families and schools to identify each child’s set of strengths and areas of need so patients have appropriate supports in place. Her position assists families in advocating for their children to ensure they receive appropriate services at school, classroom placements and helps school staff to support the unique learning needs of each implanted child. In 2021, she assisted 192 students, conducted 47 meetings with school staff to help patients, and attended 14 conferences. In addition, she trains frontline school personnel; supports educational planning and the creation of Individual Education Plans (IEPs); works with families to educate and assist them in managing their child’s needs; and facilitates communication between the child’s school and the parents.
Being a student is central to the lives and identities of children. The Cochlear Implant Education Coordinator aids families, provides information on appropriate accommodations necessary at school, and assists in amending students’ IEPs if necessary in order to optimize their learning. She has been a key resource for parents, education professionals and therapists who needed to adapt to virtual learning and in-person learning with protective safety measures in place. Thinking innovatively, Jen has guided students and schools to adopt new strategies that led to improved learning and obtaining vital resources.
CLICK HERE to read more about programming at Lurie Children’s Hospital.
The education coordinator works closely with:
- Parents, teachers, administrators and other staff at schools
- Special education cooperatives throughout Chicagoland, northwest Indiana and southern Wisconsin.
- Organization of in-service programs, including sessions for teachers and school staff on new equipment and/or techniques.
Louise Hart, long time Board Director, passed away peacefully at her home on May 1, 2020 at the age of 99. As a founding member of the Foundation for Hearing & Speech Rehabilitation (FHSR), Mrs. Hart helped to shape the mission of the Foundation and provided an unmatched level of commitment to helping individuals who are living with hearing loss.
In 2007, Mrs. Hart provided the initial funding for a crucial support position at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the Hart Family Cochlear Implant Education Coordinator.
In 2018, the Hart Family Foundation stepped forward to support the creation and initial funding drive for the Music To My Ears program to honor the Foundation’s 60th Anniversary.
CLICK HERE to learn about Louise’s Impact and the history of the foundation.