Learn about WISE

Programs

Educating, Supporting & Empowering

The Woolley Institute for Spoken-Language Education (WISE) is dedicated to educating, supporting and empowering parents of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Our comprehensive therapy and educational programs are designed to provide opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing children to learn to listen, speak, read, and integrate fully into the hearing society.

Registration

Our Programs

Together with an Early Intervention Service Coordinator, families and a WISE therapist develop an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) designed to meet the unique needs of the family.

Through our early intervention program at WISE, we also serve children experiencing speech and language delays/disorders not related to hearing loss. These sessions occur in the child’s home or day care center and are conducted by a Certified Speech/Language Pathologist.

Call For Inquiry

(205) 728-5480

Mail For Inquiry

01. Early Intervention

Serving children from birth to three years of
age utilizing a Listening and Spoken Language Approach (LSL).

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02. Toddler Group

A half-day program designed to provide two year old children with a noise controlled, language rich preschool environment.

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03. Preschool

The only school in the state dedicated solely to teaching deaf
children to speak.

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04. Therapy

Auditory Verbal Therapy sessions are provided during the
week so that families may practice techniques to help their child at home.

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05. Mainstream Support

Comprehensive support for children graduating from our program and entering their neighborhood school.

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06. Professional Education

Educational conferences and workshops for early interventionists, special education teachers, audiologists, speech-language pathologists, teachers of the deaf, related state agency employees, and parents of children who are deaf and hard of hearing.

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Our Sponsors

01. Early Intervention

The WISE Early Intervention Program serves children from Birth to Three years of age utilizing a Listening and Spoken Language Approach (LSL). This approach develops a child’s speech and language skills through listening. When identified early, fitted with appropriate listening devices (hearing aids or cochlear implants), and enrolled in appropriate LSL therapy, even children with profound hearing loss can learn to listen and speak. LSL therapy follows a developmental approach seeking to maximize the brain’s natural capacity for learning language during the first three years of life. Parents work alongside therapists learning the techniques that will help their child learn to listen and speak. Therapy is individualized and fun! Families attend therapy for one hour weekly with a Certified Auditory Verbal Therapist at a WISE location.

Through our early intervention program at WISE, we also serve children experiencing speech and language delays/disorders not related to hearing loss. These sessions occur in the child’s home or day care center and are conducted by a Certified Speech/Language Pathologist.

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Development

Speech and language skills are developed through listening.

Individualized

Therapy is individualized and fun!

02. Toddler Group

The Toddler Group is a half day program designed to provide two year old children with a noise controlled, language rich preschool environment. While less structured than our preschool classes, toddlers participate in circle time, pretend play activities, fine and gross motor play, and a variety of language based activities.

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Half-Day Program

A small time commitment can make a large impact.

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Noise Control & Language Rich

Children are provided with a noise controlled, language rich preschool environment.

03. Preschool

The WISE Preschool is the only school in the state dedicated solely to teaching deaf children to speak. WISE creates a learning environment that is similar to traditional preschool, while addressing the unique needs of children with hearing loss. We are committed to helping children develop their listening, language, and speech skills in a positive and fun learning environment. Children are placed in small groups based on their listening and language skills and instruction is provided by Certified Listening and Spoken Language Specialists.

One of a kind

The only school dedicated to teaching deaf children to speak.

04. Therapy

Auditory Verbal Therapy sessions are provided during the week so that families may practice techniques to help their child at home. The focus of these weekly sessions is to help parents develop strategies and techniques that will assist their child in learning to listen and speak. Through coaching and practice, parents become the child’s primary teacher/therapist. Classroom activities are often repeated during these sessions so that parents can learn how to implement similar activities in the home.

Parent Coaching

Helping parents develop strategies and techniques that will assist their child in learning to listen and speak

05. Mainstream Support

WISE offers comprehensive support for children graduating from our program and entering their neighborhood school. Through collaboration with the school professionals, we design a program to address each child’s unique needs. Each year we have children graduate from WISE with speech and language skills comparable to those of children their age. While this is a wonderful accomplishment, many of these children have been listening for two years or less. The transition into a kindergarten classroom with a larger number of children and more noise can be an overwhelming experience for our young listeners. Students who are deaf and hard of hearing can thrive in mainstream schools, but it is critical that each student receive personalized support. Many public schools have had little experience with hearing loss, hearing aids, cochlear implants and assistive devices necessary for these students. In order to ensure a smooth transition from WISE into the public school environment, we offer support and training to school professionals, parents and students through personalized services. This program may include the following:

  • Classroom observations and recommendations
  • Auditory Verbal Therapy sessions in the school environment
  • Teacher consultations
  • Training/Mentoring for the teachers and therapists working with the child
  • Assistance in developing the Individual Education Plan (IEP)

Support for Graduates

Comprehensive support for our graduates

06. Professional Education

WISE conducts educational conferences and workshops for early interventionists, special education teachers, audiologists, speech-language pathologists, teachers of the deaf, related state agency employees, and parents of children who are deaf and hard of hearing.

WISE offers training, observation and practicum placement for graduate students in speech/language pathology. Students from the University of Alabama, Auburn University, Samford University, and the University of South Carolina have gained experience in our programs.

Training for Professionals

WISE offers training, observation and practicum placement for graduate students in speech/language pathology.

WISE Families

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.

WISE Staff

Our program is staffed by Certified Speech Language Pathologists who are also Certified Listening and Spoken Language Specialists. They have over 40 years combined experience working with children with hearing loss and their families. Certified Speech Language Pathologists provide classroom support in the WISE Toddler group and Preschool classrooms. They also provide individual speech therapy sessions for children with typical hearing. Trained paraprofessionals provide classroom support and assist in preparing therapy materials. Two Certified Speech Language Pathologists volunteer in our program on a weekly basis.

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.