My research focuses on understanding and optimizing developmental outcomes of children who are deaf / hard of hearing so that all children can reach their full potential.
This research direction began with identifying appropriate outcomes and expectations for children who are deaf/hard of hearing with developmental disabilities. It was through this line of research that we identified a high rate of language deficits and the significant functional impact of these deficits in the broader community of deaf / hard of hearing children.
All children deserve opportunities to achieve their own success. Language and communication are foundational elements across all levels of ability. I have worked with an interdisciplinary team for more than 15 years. Our work together has been geared towards defining what individual “success” might look like. Over time, it became apparent that we needed to shift our focus from observational studies to developing novel interventional approaches. Everything we do is guided by the understanding that when given the tools and strategies, children who are deaf / hard of hearing (as all children) can reach their full potential.
We completed a small randomized trial (funded by NIDILRR) focused on leveraging augmentative and alternative communication technology (via iPads) as a tool to enhance language development. Our results indicate that children who received the technology-assisted language intervention had improved spoken language development. We have since initiated a larger National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded trial to expand this study to a larger population with multiple sites. More information is available by accessing our blog: Utilizing Technology to Aid in Speech Development. All children deserve opportunities to make their mark in this world, and we hope our research can help children while supporting their families.
In addition to my focused research, I have long-standing collaborative relationships with faculty in divisions across Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, broadening the scope of collaborations to a wide range of populations of children. I serve as the co-director of the Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training at the Academic Health Center of University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children’s. As such, I am dedicated to helping ensure the success of researchers and their science across the enterprise. I provide mentorship to junior and mid-career researchers, including K-awardees as well as dissertation committees at the University of Cincinnati. I have taught graduate level courses in epidemiology and biostatistics within the Department of Environmental and Public Health Sciences, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, spending over a decade teaching Introduction to Epidemiology.