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Jane Madell Receives Honors of the Association

For more than half a century, Dr. Madell, a pediatric audiologist, speech-language pathologist, and certified LSLS Auditory-Verbal Therapist, has blazed trails and encouraged others to do the same.
Dr. Carol Flexer (Left) and Dr. Jane Madell (Right) at the 2019 AG Bell Global LSL Symposium.

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Written By: Rin-rin Yu

Jane Madell, Ph.D., CCC A/SLP, LSLS Cert AVT, FAAA, is more than just someone who made a difference for children who are deaf and hard of hearing. She made many, many differences for many, many children.

For more than half a century, Dr. Madell, a pediatric audiologist, speech-language pathologist, and certified LSLS Auditory-Verbal Therapist, has blazed trails and encouraged others to do the same. Dr. Madell has worked with thousands of children and their parents and caregivers. She has evaluated children with hearing loss and helped guide families through the process of selecting amplification technology. She helped maximize their auditory skills and their ability to attend mainstream schools. She brought listening and spoken language to the children, and relief and confidence to the parents.

For all these reasons and more, on Friday, June 25, 2021, Dr. Madell was awarded the AG Bell Honors of the Association. This award is given to an outstanding person who has demonstrated extreme dedication to and sustained efforts towards the goals and purposes of the association. The award was presented by her colleague, close friend, and fellow leader, Dr. Carol Flexer, Ph.D., CCC-A, LSLS Cert. AVT.

“I am truly honored. AG Bell is an organization that has been very important to me,” Madell says. “I love the fact that we have all the professions who work with children with hearing loss and families work together to assure that children with hearing loss learn to listen and talk.”

Madell began her audiology career as an instructor and clinical audiologist at Emerson College in Boston where she had earned her undergraduate degree in speech. After achieving her master’s degree and doctorate in communication disorders from the University of Wisconsin, she taught and/or directed audiology programs at a number of schools and hospitals in the New York City area, including Teachers College at Columbia University, New York League for the Hard of Hearing, Long Island College Hospital, State University of New York Health Sciences Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York Medical College, Beth Israel Medical Center, and the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. Her research and work in pediatric audiology has been recognized around the world as she helped bring listening and spoken language to those diagnosed with hearing loss, one child at a time.

Madell looks at changes that happened during her career with a certain awe as well. “When I started in the profession more than 50 years ago we only had hearing aids that provided moderate help to people with hearing loss. Children with mild hearing loss did well but not children with moderate or poorer hearing,” she says. “It is absolutely amazing what is available now. When we identify a child with hearing loss now we can say ‘Your child will hear’ because with improvements in hearing aids and cochlear implants, we really can say that any child with an auditory nerve will be able to hear.”

She has published many papers and books, and worked with documentarian Irene Taylor Brodsky on the Listening Project, in which she interviewed 15 young adults whose hearing loss she identified when they were babies. She has traveled the world presenting on topics about hearing loss and auditory disorders in infants and children. For the past 12 years, she has been director of Pediatric Audiology Consulting and writes blogs for hearinghealthmatters.org.

“Jane’s contributions to our community are infinite,” says Gayla Guignard, AG Bell’s chief strategy officer. “Jane has used her knowledge, skills, experience, and voice to move our field forward. She is insistent that important changes occur and is always willing to contribute in the efforts towards that change. We are so proud to honor her, and it is easily well-deserved.”

Madell plans to continue speaking and working with children to give them the opportunities she believes they deserve. “I am going to continue to travel where I am invited and try and teach whomever will listen about the importance of listening and spoken language, how it gives children choices they do not have otherwise, and about testing children and selecting technology,” she says. “It is hard for me to believe that I am still fighting after 50 years to make sure families know they have a choice for listening and spoken language. I hope part of my legacy is empowering other professionals to make sure parents know that their child can hear, and that the rest of my legacy is making sure those children have the best possible therapists to teach them to speak. Spoken language put them on the same playing field as children with typical hearing. And from there, the sky’s the limit!”

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Jane Madell recibe los Honores de la Asociación

Jane Madell, Ph.D., CCC A/SLP, LSLS Cert AVT, FAAA, no es solamente una persona que ha marcado una gran diferencia para los niños y niñas con sordera e hipoacusia, sino que ha marcado muchísimas diferencias y para muchísimos niños.

Durante más de medio siglo, la Dra. Madell, audióloga pediátrica, logopeda y terapeuta auditivo-verbal con certificación LSLS, ha abierto caminos y ha animado a otras personas a seguir sus pasos. La Dra. Madell ha trabajado con miles de niños y con sus progenitores y cuidadores. Ha evaluado a niños con pérdida auditiva y ha ayudado a orientar a las familias a través del proceso de selección de la tecnología de amplificación. Ha contribuido a maximizar sus habilidades auditivas y su capacidad de estudiar en escuelas del sistema educativo ordinario. A los niños les enseña la escucha y el lenguaje hablado y a los progenitores les aporta alivio y confianza.

Por todos estos motivos y otros muchos, el viernes 25 de junio de 2021, la Dra. Madell fue galardonada con los Honores de la Asociación AG Bell. Este galardón se otorga a una persona destacada que ha demostrado una dedicación extrema y un esfuerzo constante para lograr los objetivos y propósitos de la asociación. El galardón fue entregado por su colega y amiga cercana, la Dra. Carol Flexer, Ph.D., CCC-A, LSLS Cert. AVT.

«Siento un gran honor. AG Bell es una organización que tiene una gran importancia para mí», asegura la Dra. Madell. «Me encanta el hecho de que todos los profesionales que atienden a niños con una pérdida auditiva y sus familias trabajen conjuntamente para lograr que estos niños aprendan a escuchar y hablar».

La Dra. Madell comenzó su carrera en audiología como instructora y audióloga clínica en el Emerson College de Boston, donde obtuvo su título universitario en habla. Después de estudiar un máster y un doctorado en trastornos de la comunicación en la University of Wisconsin, enseñó y/o dirigió programas de audiología en varias escuelas y hospitales del área de la ciudad de Nueva York, entre los que se encuentran Teachers College en Columbia University, New York League for the Hard of Hearing, Long Island College Hospital, State University of New York Health Sciences Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York Medical College, Beth Israel Medical Center y New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. Su investigación y su trabajo en audiología pediátrica se reconocen en todo el mundo, ya que ha contribuido a facilitar servicios de escucha y lenguaje hablado a personas diagnosticadas con una pérdida auditiva; un niño cada vez.

Por otra parte, la Dra. Madell contempla los cambios que se han producido durante su carrera con bastante asombro. «Cuando empecé a ejercer la profesión hace más de 50 años, solo disponíamos de audífonos que aportaban una ayuda moderada a las personas con pérdida auditiva. Los niños con una pérdida auditiva leve mostraban un buen desempeño, pero no era el caso de los niños con una pérdida auditiva moderada o profunda», añade. «Es absolutamente sorprendente lo que está disponible actualmente. Cuando identificamos a un niño con pérdida auditiva, podemos decir a los progenitores que «su hijo oirá» porque con las mejoras en los audífonos y los implantes cocleares, la verdad es que podemos decir que cualquier niño con un nervio auditivo podrá oír».

Ha publicado numerosos artículos y libros, y ha trabajado con la documentalista Irene Taylor Brodsky en el Listening Project, en el que entrevistó a 15 adultos jóvenes cuya pérdida auditiva había identificado cuando eran bebés. Ha viajado por todo el mundo realizando presentaciones sobre la pérdida auditiva y los trastornos auditivos en bebés y niños. Desde hace 12 años es directora de Pediatric Audiology Consulting y escribe blogs para hearinghealthmatters.org.

«Las contribuciones de Jane a nuestra comunidad son infinitas», afirma Gayla Guignard, directora de Estrategia de AG Bell. «Jane ha utilizado sus conocimientos, habilidades, experiencia y voz para que avance nuestro ámbito. Insiste en que los cambios importantes se producen y siempre está dispuesta a contribuir con su esfuerzo hacia el logro de estos cambios. Nos sentimos muy orgullosos de rendirle honores y tan merecidos».

La Dra. Madell tiene previsto seguir con sus presentaciones y trabajar con los niños para ofrecerles las oportunidades que cree que se merecen. «Voy a seguir viajando allá donde me inviten y trataré de enseñar a quien quiera escuchar la importancia de la escucha y el lenguaje hablado, cómo aporta a los niños unas opciones que de otra manera no tendrían, además de la evaluación pediátrica y la selección de la tecnología», señala. «Me cuesta creer que sigo luchando después de 50 años para asegurarme de que las familias conozcan que tienen la opción de la escucha y el lenguaje hablado. Espero que parte de mi legado sea empoderar a otros profesionales para que los progenitores conozcan que sus hijos pueden oír y que el resto de mi legado sea que esos niños dispongan de los mejores terapeutas posibles que les enseñen a hablar. El lenguaje hablado les facilita una igualdad de oportunidades con respecto a los niños con una audición normal. Y a partir de ahí, ¡el cielo es el límite!»

Para mas infomación, visite a AG Bell International aquí.

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