Free Hearing Test for Students, Faculty & Staff

DSC03877Hearing loss is a very common problem that can significantly affect an individual’s ability to communicate. The Speech Language and Hearing Center (SLHC) here on campus provides full audiological evaluations at no cost for students, faculty and staff.  The evaluation takes approximately one hour and will be performed by a nationally and state certified audiologist. If you are interested, please call 257-3600 to make an appointment.

Statistics on Hearing Loss:

  • About 20 percent of adults in the United States, 48 million, report some degree of hearing loss.
  • 60 percent of the people with hearing loss are either in the work force or in educational settings.
  • At age 65, one out of three people has a hearing loss.
  • About 2-3 of every 1,000 children are hard of hearing or deaf
  • Estimated that 30 school children per 1,000 have a hearing loss.

Source: John Hopkins Medicine

Deaf Awareness Week – ASL Movie Night April 9, 2014

GeraldsmDeaf Awareness Week  – ASL Movie Night Wednesday, April 9

This film is rated PG-13 and is being shown for free. It is presented in sign language and closed-captioned for the hearing.

When: 6:30-8:30pm

Where: SUNY New Paltz Lecture Center Room 100 (LC100)

Please join us for this important and moving film. The story traces the journey of a young man, Corey, who discovers he has a deaf autistic grandfather he has never met. Determined to make a connection with his grandfather, Corey uncovers family ties and secrets in a dramatic chain of events, leading to a shocking truth.

Sponsored by: Mid-Hudson Deaf Awareness Group, Communication Disorders Department, Sociology Dept. – Human Services Concentration, and Taconic Resources for Independence, Inc. CAS

Student Organization Teams with P&G’s on March 12 to Support Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Are you planning lunch or dinner out soon? The SUNY New Paltz chapter of the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association (NSSLHA) is teaming up with P&G’s on Main Street in New Paltz on Wednesday, March 12 to raise money for the AAC Institute, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting effective communication for people who rely on augmentative and alternative communication.

P and G_sFundraiserflier

Print the coupon image above, present it after your meal on March 12, and P&G’s will donate 20% of the bill to the AAC Institute. Printed coupons are also available in the Communication Disorders department in HUM 14A.

Each semester the SUNY New Paltz chapter of NSSLHA devotes time and energy to raising awareness about a specific area within the field of Communication Disorders, and to raising money for a non-profit specializing in that area. When asked why they chose Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC), Caitlin Ward of the NSSLHA chapter had this to say:

“Our chapter chose to focus on Alternative and Augmentative Communication as the theme of the semester, because AAC is a rapidly developing area in our field, but it’s not something that we as undergraduates have much exposure to. We chose to help fundraise for the AAC Institute because their organization provides SLPs and AAC users & families of users with a number of great resources. They offer SLPs online CEU’s at no charge, and their website features a parent support group and blogs by AAC users. We hoped that by selecting AAC and the AAC Institute, the members of our NSSLHA chapter would have the opportunity to gain some familiarity with AAC. One of the NSSLHA mission statements is to help provide resources to prepare students to become professionals, and we feel that this theme and the events for it throughout the semester will be an invaluable resource for those involved.”

For more information:

10-Week Social Skills Clinic for Aspergers/Autistic Adolescents


The Department of Communication Disorders is offering a 10-week spring semester clinic for 7th – 11th graders with Aspergers or high-functioning autism to improve verbal and non-verbal communication skills in a variety of social interactions.

Therapy will be conducted in a group setting by undergraduate and graduate students in the Communication Disorders program, supervised by Wendy Bower, M.S. CCC-SLP—a New York State licensed and certified speech language pathologist and full-time faculty member. Large and small group interventions will be held with a maximum of 8-9 students in the large group.

When: Thursdays from 4:30-6:00pm beginning February 6, 2014. No clinic on March 20 or April 17.
Where: SUNY New Paltz Speech-Language and Hearing Center, in the Humanities Building on campus
Fee: $100 for the 10-week session; no charge for SUNY NP faculty/staff families

For more information or to sign up for the group, please contact Sandy DiStasi, the secretary in the Communication Disorders Department office at 257-3600, or e-mail Professor Bower at

ASL Shabbat Dinner

ASL Shabbat Flyer no info

ASL Shabbat Dinner (Partnering with New Paltz ASL Club)

Friday evening, December 13, 2013, I attended the American Sign Language (ASL) Shabbat dinner hosted by Rabbi Moshe Plotkin and his family at the Jewish Student Center on 10 South Oakwood here in New Paltz a block away from the college. They were partnering with the SUNY New Paltz ASL Club for this event. I had been asked by the ASL Club to assist with the sign interpreting. Although I was hesitant as I am not a certified interpreter and I do not know Hebrew, I agreed to help with facilitating the communication.

The special guest for the evening was Rabbi Soudakoff. Rabbi Soudakoff is one of four Deaf Rabbis in North America. He lives in Brooklyn and recently graduated from Rabbinical School. He is originally from Los Angeles CA and his parents and siblings are also Deaf. At the Shabbat he gave a presentation during the service about prayer and the need for a community to be together. During the dinner he told a story about a Deaf person from the Torah and shared words of wisdom about the need to know right from wrong. Also he talked about the experience of being Deaf and Jewish as being part of a double minority. He shared about his work with Deaf Jewish people in the United States, Russia and Israel. The use of ASL helped make his presentations visually meaningful.

There were over 40 students in attendance. Many of the students were from our ASL Club and Deaf Studies classes. It was great to be able to participate in this excellent event!

Check out Rabbi Soudakoff’s website:

–Dr. Elizabeth Hester, Communication Disorders Dept.

Kudos to NSSLHA!

NSSHLA members 12-2013Featured (left to right): Alexandra Lavrentieva (Treasurer), Catherine Schembri (Vice president), Arielle Rubinstein (President), Victoria Guido (Secretary). Not pictured: Marina Kuzminar (Public Relations)

What is NSSLHA?

The mission statement of the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association (NSSLHA) is to advocate for students at the national, state, and local level, to forge professional relationships between speech-language pathologists and audiologists, to provide resources to prepare students to become professionals, and to facilitate the transition from NSSLHA to ASHA membership and other
professional organizations as the entry into the profession.

Recent Accomplishments of the SUNY New Paltz NSSLHA Chapter

The SUNY New Paltz NSSLHA chapter strives to uphold the central tenets of this statement through its selection of a communication disorders-based theme and charity each semester. This past semester, the chapter promoted public awareness of dysphagia, with the National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders (NFOSD) as its charity of choice. We raised over $300 for this organization, surpassing our goal of $200, through fundraisers at Stop & Shop, McGillicuddy’s, and Fat Bob’s. We also sold promotional bracelets and fliers.  Edward Steger, the president of NFOSD, promoted our chapter events on the foundation’s website.

To further orchestrate dysphagia awareness, we worked with Professor Bower to host an educational lecture on Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) with expert Michael Webb. This presentation featured a hands-on component in which students were provided with the opportunity to receive a FEES evaluation.

Our semi-annual banquet on December 3, 2013, featured NICU swallowing therapist, Mary Ell Izzo, from the Vassar Brothers Medical Center. In addition to discussing diagnostic and therapeutic feeding considerations for the newborn infant, Mrs. Izzo provided specialized nursing bottle nipples for attendees to examine.

NSSLHA will continue to host events that foster education, advocacy, and inclusion amongst the students and professors of the SUNY New Paltz Communication Disorders department.

–Arielle Rubinstein, President