Welcome to WISE

A smart start for Alabama’s infants and children with hearing loss and their families.

Creating a Brighter Future

Hearing loss is the most common birth anomaly occurring 3 times per 1,000 births.  In addition to infants born with hearing loss, another 3 of every 1000 children will develop educationally significant hearing loss during childhood, before their mastery of spoken language has fully developed.  Don’t let this keep your child from the future that can be theirs.

How Can Wise Help you?

Parents must act quickly to partner with early interventionists who can offer guidance and education about options and opportunities for children with hearing loss.  We believe that parents need time to learn and process information about communication options and choices, and we recognize that no one approach is right for every family.  It is important that you spend time learning about all options available, visiting with families who have chosen to embrace American Sign Language (ASL), and with families who have chosen to embrace technology and Spoken Language.  We encourage you to visit other programs, talk with their staff, meet the children, and speak with their graduates. Our WISE therapists are available to help you explore all options, help you connect with other families, and with other programs.

How can WISE help your child?

Our therapists have years of experience working with families and their young children.  The comprehensive therapy and educational programs at WISE give children the opportunity to learn to speak, read, and participate fully in a hearing society.   Through advanced technology (digital hearing aids and cochlear implants), the world of sound is open to most infants and children, even those born profoundly deaf.

State Wide. Family Focused.

A Little About WISE

The Woolley Institute for Spoken-Language Education (WISE), is a 501 © not for profit organization dedicated to teaching deaf children to speak.  We are a statewide, family focused program working in collaboration with Alabama’s Early Intervention System, local school systems, and private and public entities which advance the education of deaf children who use listening and spoken language.

About

Our Therapists

Our therapists are Certified Speech Language Pathologists who are also Certified Listening and Spoken Language Specialists.

Our School

Programs for Parents and Children

Our programs are designed to keep parents and children engaged with one another through the learning process.

For Parents

Come join our NEST!  Parents, caregivers, and siblings of children who are deaf and hard of hearing have their own needs, often which are underrepresented and not effectively addressed, yet the role of parents and caregivers is the primary determining factor in a child’s success.  The way a deaf child interacts with his or her siblings can be a beneficial advantage in later developing appropriate peer interaction skills. At WISE, we have a team of seasoned, experienced parents and caregivers who have raised or are raising children with hearing loss to speak.  They understand firsthand the critical role and challenges you face, and are here to nurture, empower, support, and train (NEST) you to be effective in meeting your child’s many needs. Whether you just learned your infant was referred for follow up testing after not passing her newborn hearing screening in the hospital or your son with hearing loss is leaving for college this fall, we are here for you.

For Children

The WISE therapy programs are fun for children and family members.  Activities are designed based on the interest of your child. Therapy objectives are disguised in motivating, fun, playful activities.  You and other family members will participate and practice during individual sessions so that you develop confidence in applying therapy targets from each session into natural communication with your child.

Our therapists are Certified Speech Language Pathologists who are also Certified Listening and Spoken Language Specialists.

Testimonials

James & Laura, Parents of a WISE kid

Today my daughter speaks her mind. Her vocabulary has increased tremendously and she now speaks in sentences instead of grunting and pointing. We quickly saw her frustration go down and behavior problems improve as a result of the new communication skills she was learning.

Luqin, Mom of a WISE kid

Luke started learning on his first day at the Hearing School. I got a video from the teacher after I dropped Luke and sat down in my office. I watched such a simple and short video again and again with tears in my eyes and joy in my heart. I was amazed how good he was in mimicking his teachers with the hearing aids on. I knew I needed to do the same thing at home every day.

Celisa, Mom of a WISE kid

I will never forget the hours we spent at the table inputting the learning to listen sounds and the sheer delight I felt when Caroline said her first “word”, if you could call it that. We were working on “ho, ho, ho” when I heard Caroline say “hmm, hmm, hmm.” I called everyone I knew and quickly realized that they were not nearly as aware what a milestone this was as I was, but I knew we were on our way!

Amber, Mother of a WISE kid

She has attended the Woolley Institute for Spoken-Language Education (WISE), formerly known as the Alabama School for Hearing for three years. I can never express in words what this school did for Amelia. Thank you doesn’t seem enough.

Terri, Mom of a WISE kid

This school is an amazing gift to children with cochlear implants and their parents! My daughter made enormous strides while there thanks to the amazing teachers and speech therapists. She was on track for kindergarten with her peers by the end. She is now in second grade and ahead of most of her class in reading and writing! I know it can be difficult for many families to make it work due to the long commutes, but it will be worth it – promise!

Jennifer, Mom of a WISE kid

It wasn’t until he attended The Alabama School for Hearing, now known as the Woolley Institute for Spoken-Language Education (WISE) that his language took off. I liken the school to a match that set afire the previous years worth of kindling. The lessons the kids took each day were real-world but unique (building birdhouses, running a restaurant) and filled with new and expanding vocabulary words

Tammi, Mom of a WISE kid

The two years of therapy he received at the school optimized the AVT he had already received and, in my opinion, is the single factor that has contributed most to his current day success. Being immersed in spoken language and receiving AVT from certified therapists at WISE was one of the best decisions we could have ever made for our son

Daniel & Natalie, Parents of a WISE kid

Our miracle came through a group of people who have dedicated their lives to children like our daughter. She will leave this school with a hope and future that didn’t seem possible a couple of years ago. Please accept our sincere appreciation for what the entire staff does for these children, especially our daughter. We will be forever grateful.

Lynn, Grandmother of a WISE kid

We are so thankful to have the WISE teachers in our lives. He has come a long, long way and we can never thank you enough. We will never let him forget you! You are our angels here on Earth.

Katie, Mom of a WISE kid

The one on one environment and excellent teaching she has received has been life changing for our family. She will and is living a completely normal life in the hearing world. Yes, of course, there are a few things that are a bit different for her using a processor and hearing aid; however, because of the school and their immense work I believe she will be successful in all facets of life

Our Sponsors

Tuition Free Programs

New Friends for life

Life Changing Results

Loving and Caring Staff

Get In Touch

Location: Shades Valley Presbyterian Church
2305 Montevallo Road
Birmingham, Alabama 35223

Telephone: (205) 728-5480

Email: [email protected]

The Woolley Institute for Spoken-Language Education (WISE), is a 501 © not for profit organization dedicated to teaching deaf children to speak. We are a statewide, family focused program working in collaboration with Alabama's Early Intervention System, local school systems, and private and public entities which advance the education of deaf children who use listening and spoken language.