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Gayla Guignard Receives Prestigious Heroes for Hearing Award

On May 2, Gayla Guignard, AG Bell’s Chief Strategy and Programs Officer, received the Dr. Richard T. Miyamoto Heroes for Hearing Award at the annual Speed of Sound event in Indianapolis, IN.

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By Melody Bertrand

The award recognizes Gayla’s commitment and passion in the field of Listening and Spoken Language (LSL).

“I cannot imagine a bigger honor than to be honored in one’s own home,” Gayla stated. “To be ‘back home again in Indiana’ and to be awarded the Dr. Richard Miyamoto Heroes in Hearing award is the biggest thrill.”

AG Bell Chief Executive Officer Emilio Alonso-Mendoza praised the committee’s choice for this award. “Since joining AG Bell in 2015, Gayla has transformed the way we talk about Listening and Spoken Language, create programs for professionals around the globe, and train the next generation of professionals to support children who are learning to listen and talk. I am fortunate to work with her every day, and am pleased to see her receive recognition for her hard work.”

Gayla and Emilio represented AG Bell at a recent World Hearing Forum event with the WHO.

Gayla Guignard, M.A., CCC-A/SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT, has worked as a direct service provider, clinical audiology and speech-language pathology supervisor, State Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Coordinator, and as the inaugural director of Indiana’s Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education (CDHHE). She has served in numerous leadership roles on national committees and work groups with experience in grant writing and management. She has also presented on LSL and related topics internationally.

Gayla’s current work is focused on bringing knowledge forward about LSL and related areas for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. She is deeply interested in systems that serve families and individuals and seeks to be involved in systems change as a way to realize potential and improve outcomes for all individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

“No one chooses this work as a way to gain attention. Rather, we choose it as a way to place attention where it needs to be—on the children and on their dear families,” Gayla added. “It is, after all, their journey. The fact that children who are deaf or hard of hearing can hear is a miracle and a gift. I’ve been privileged to be a part of this field.”

“The selection committee for this award chose Gayla and we couldn’t be more excited to honor her”, says Lindy Powell, Executive Director of St. Jospeh Institute for the Deaf, Indiana. “Her unwavering commitment to Listening and Spoken Language has paved the way for thousands of children across Indiana to access services and achieve great outcomes.”

The Dr. Richard T. Miyamoto Heroes for Hearing Award is named after Dr. Richard T. Miyamoto for his pioneering work as surgeon and researcher with cochlear implants. He was instrumental in bringing the LSL expertise of St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf to the State of Indiana. Past recipients of the award include individuals who have made significant contributions to the field in the state, including Amy McConkey-Robbins, Teri Ouellette, Liz Ying, and Lisa & Brian Kovacs.

Gayla Guignard recibe el prestigioso premio Heroes for Hearing

El 2 de mayo, Gayla Guignard, directora de Estrategia y Programas de AG Bell, recibió el premio Dr. Richard T. Miyamoto Heroes for Hearing Award en el evento anual Speed of Sound, celebrado en Indianápolis, IN. El premio reconoce el compromiso y la dedicación de Gayla en el campo de la Escucha y el Lenguaje Hablado (LSL).

«No puedo imaginar un honor mayor que ser galardonada en mi tierra», declaró Gayla. «Estar de nuevo en casa en Indiana y recibir el premio Dr. Richard Miyamoto Heroes in Hearing me llena de emoción».

Emilio Alonso-Mendoza, CEO de AG Bell, alabó la concesión del premio por parte del comité. «Desde que se uniera a AG Bell en 2015, Gayla ha transformado la forma en la que hablamos sobre la Escucha y el Lenguaje Hablado, creamos programas para profesionales de todo el mundo y formamos a la próxima generación de profesionales para que presten ayuda a los niños que están aprendiendo a escuchar y hablar. Tengo la suerte de trabajar con ella todos los días y me alegro de que reciba este reconocimiento por su arduo trabajo».

Gayla Guignard, M.A., CCC-A/SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT, ha trabajado como proveedora de servicios directos, supervisora de audiología clínica y logopedia, coordinadora estatal de Detección e Intervención Auditivas Tempranas (EHDI, por sus siglas en inglés) y directora inaugural del Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education (CDHHE) de Indiana. Ha desempeñado numerosas funciones de liderazgo en comités y grupos de trabajo nacionales, y tiene experiencia en la redacción y la gestión de subvenciones. También ha realizado presentaciones internacionales sobre LSL y temas relacionados.

El trabajo actual de Gayla se centra en divulgar el enfoque LSL y áreas relacionadas para niños con sordera o hipoacusia. Tiene un gran interés en los sistemas que prestan servicios a las familias y las personas, y trata de participar en el cambio de los sistemas como una forma de realizar el potencial y mejorar los resultados para todas las personas con sordera o hipoacusia.

«Nadie elige este trabajo para llamar la atención. Más bien, lo elegimos como una forma de enfocarla donde debe estar: en los niños y en sus queridas familias», añadió Gayla. «Al fin y al cabo, se trata de su itinerario. Que los niños con sordera o hipoacusia puedan oír es un milagro y un regalo. He tenido el privilegio de poder formar parte de este campo».

«El comité de selección de este premio eligió a Gayla y no podríamos estar más satisfechos de esta elección», asegura Lindy Powell, directora ejecutiva del St. Jospeh Institute for the Deaf de Indiana. «Su inquebrantable compromiso con la escucha y el lenguaje hablado ha allanado el camino para que miles de niños de todo el estado de Indiana accedan a los servicios y logren excelentes resultados».

El premio Dr. Richard T. Miyamoto Heroes for Hearing Award lleva el nombre del Dr. Richard T. Miyamoto por su labor pionera como cirujano e investigador con implantes cocleares. Desempeñó un papel decisivo en la aportación de los conocimientos en LSL del St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf al estado de Indiana. Entre los anteriores galardonados figuran personas que han contribuido de forma significativa a este campo en el estado, como Amy McConkey-Robbins, Teri Ouellette, Liz Ying, y Lisa y Brian Kovacs.

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