Project Rationale: “Listen to Me!” is a young author’s workshop designed to culminate in the creation and publication of an autobiography detailing the student’s hearing journey to date. Working in small groups with a speech-language pathologist, each participant will be guided to write and illustrate their own recollections about having and living with hearing loss. Learning to express oneself in writing is perhaps one of the most complex tasks for any student. Underlying the writing of a simple idea onto a blank piece of paper is a multi-dimensional process encompassing the formulation of letters, knowledge of rules of spelling and punctuation, word order and sentence construction.
Students with hearing loss may not have been given the opportunity to talk about their feelings, how they identify as someone with a hearing loss, or how they felt in going through the process of getting or using hearing aids or cochlear implants. This project will provide experience and practice in expressive writing as well as in reflecting on their feelings regarding an important part of their identity. At the conclusion of this project, participants will participate in a public speaking experience by reading their autobiographies aloud during a “publishing party” at the conclusion of the project.