Dear Alexander Graham Bell Community,   
I have to extend a special thanks this week to the professionals in Listening and Spoken Language who came together at the Volta Bureau last week to continue working on refreshing the LSLS Certification Exam. It was such a pleasure to welcome so many of the renowned experts in our field and to see the dedication and commitment with which they are working to make the Academy's examination more up-to-date and comprehensive than before.

This is especially welcome because, as we continue to expand to new communities and new countries, the importance of the exam becomes even more pronounced. Through our work to reach children who are deaf and their families around the world we have met countless numbers who seek our help in ensuring that listening and spoken language is a viable option for families. In some of these countries, you can count the number of LSL professionals on one hand! One way we can make sure families have the option to help their child listen and speak is to continue to prepare more professionals through our educational programs like the AG Bell Research Symposium and for the Academy to continue certifying more professionals.

Visiting with LSLS at AVUK
AG Bell is dedicated to improving and setting the standard for listening and spoken language practice, providing the best possible auditory-verbal therapy for children and adults with hearing loss. The board leadership of the AG Bell Academy made it a priority to improve educational standards as well as the mentoring process that form part of the core requirements of the Listening and Spoken Language Specialist certification. Their emphasis on the integrity of the certification process has made the LSLS certification one of the most respected in the field of auditory-verbal therapy.

Mentoring is such a critical aspect of professional development in any field. I know I benefited from  the care and attention of mentors in nonprofit management and fundraising; I will always be grateful to those who helped me on my professional journey, and I show that gratitude by mentoring others. I'm honored by the success of my mentees, and so are many LSLS Certified professionals who have helped increase the number and the quality of listening and spoken language specialists around the globe. I hope you'll consider mentoring - you can always let Robin Bailey know of your interest at Check out the mentoring resource page on the Academy website or, if you need a mentor, use the Find a LSLS feature on our  Find a Mentor page . Mentors use their professional experience and expertise to guide the delivery of services by LSLS professionals during the application process. They are vital to ensuring that the services being delivered are of high quality and are consistent with LSLS certification requirements. We truly appreciate mentors for their commitment in helping other professionals achieve excellence in making listening and spoken language possible for so many families .
There are lots of resources available to you to help you prepare for certification - and we'll be announcing a scholarship process in the next few weeks.

In 2016, we had the great pleasure of welcoming 15 new Listening and Spoken Language Specialists, prepared to make a difference in the lives of children learning to listen and speak. Please help me congratulate:

Antonia Aldous, LSLS Cert. AVT, United Kingdom
Caitlin Montgomery,   LSLS Cert. AVEd, Indiana
Emily Brewer, LSLS Cert. AVT, North Carolina
Lauren O'Leary, LSLS Cert. AVT, New York
Nicole Burkhardt,   LSLS Cert. AVT, Oklahoma
Angela Pardee, LSLS Cert. AVEd, Florida
Jacqueline Conner,   LSLS Cert. AVEd, Pennsylvania
Holly Riegel, LSLS Cert. AVEd, Illinois
Brandy DeMesme-Trosclair, LSLS Cert. AVT, Texas
Ashley Rossiter,   LSLS Cert. AVT, Canada
Sara Fly, LSLS Cert. AVEd, Texas
Diana Sanchez, LSLS Cert. AVEd, California
Heather Gurnick,   LSLS Cert. AVT, California
Natasha Shallita,   LSLS Cert. AVT, Australia
Amanda Hopkins, LSLS Cert. AVT, Michigan
Jenna Volmer, LSLS Cert. AVT, Arksansas
Noel Kenely, LSLS Cert. AVT, United Kingdom

Congratulations to all - I look forward to seeing the results of your most excellent practice.
Last week I was saddened to hear of the passing of Mary Edith Campbell, a paragon in the field of Listening and Spoken Language. Mary not only founded an innovative program for children that brought those with disabilities, particularly those with hearing loss, into the mainstream long before this became a federal mandate, but she continuously looked to help others in education understand that children who are deaf or hard of hearing can fully participate in public education and achieve productive lives, sharing in all society has to offer. Before her passing, Mary asked that gifts might be made in her memory to the AG Bell College Scholarship Program to ensure that students with hearing loss can achieve a college education. If you would like to make a gift in memory of Mary, please visit our website at Give Now . You can also learn more about our scholarship program - think about college students who would qualify and share the link with them!

It is because of so many supporters and professionals over the years, like Mary and the Academy team, that children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families have the choice to listen and speak and achieve their dreams.

I am always eager to hear from you. Email me at   or call me - 202-337-5220.

Until next week,

Emilio EAM signature blue transparent
Emilio Alonso-Mendoza

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world .

Nelson Mandela