CCHAT Staff Spotlight: LSLS-Certified Staff
At CCHAT, building a staff of listening and spoken language (LSL) experts is critical in carrying out our mission. CCHAT’s professional staff of teachers of the deaf, speech-language pathologists (SLP), audiologists and instructional aides helps our children with hearing loss develop communication skills that empower them for life.
Some CCHAT staff members have been recognized on a worldwide scale. The achievement of a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist (LSLS) designation is one of the most prestigious accolades in the field and one that multiple CCHAT staff members have attained.
What is LSLS?
Professionals who have served in the LSL field for a certain amount of time are eligible to apply for LSLS certification. Observation from an already established LSLS professional is required, as is logging a specified number of continuing education credits and passing a rigorous test. This exam tests staff members on several key components of LSL education, including history, strategies for child development, and parent education and support.
According to A.G. Bell, only 1,097 professionals in the world have attained LSLS status, as of June of 2023. That number shrinks to 768 when confined to the United States. These numbers show how exclusive the LSLS club is and how valuable an LSLS professional is.
CCHAT’s Staff of LSL Experts
CCHAT is fortunate to be the home of six LSLS-certified staff members. These teachers and SLPs, along with the rest of CCHAT’s top-level staff, ensure that students in the program are receiving an LSL education that rivals that of any program worldwide.
CCHAT’s LSLS members include:
- Lisa McWilliams - Lisa currently serves as CCHAT’s Speech Therapy and Education Services Director and has been a speech therapist at CCHAT since 1999.
- Michelle Harder - Michelle has been an SLP at CCHAT since 2000 and currently works with CCHAT’s youngest children in the Baby & Me and Toddler classes.
- Jody Wassermann - An SLP at CCHAT since 2000, Jody works primarily with CCHAT students in the Pre-K and Kindergarten classes.
- Leah Lind - CCHAT’s Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing Education Coordinator and Toddler class instructor, Leah joined CCHAT as a full-time staff member in 2004.
- Meredith Wright - Meredith works as a teacher in CCHAT’s Preschool/Pre-K class while also serving as one of the program’s music instructors.
- Melissa McNamara - Melissa joined CCHAT in 2019 and currently serves as a Preschool/Pre-K teacher, as well as the leader of CCHAT’s Baby & Me program.
Developing LSL Professionals
CCHAT remains committed to providing the best possible education for its students with hearing loss. All staff members bring a level of dedication, experience and LSL knowledge that enables our children to reach their maximum potential.
Additionally, CCHAT has partnered with multiple universities in an effort to develop future LSL professionals. This has included sending CCHAT staff members to graduate programs to further their education, as well as providing on-campus internships for students in speech therapy, audiology and teaching credential programs who are looking to enter the field on a professional level.