This is my first internet effort, but we've been around a long time, helping people hear. I first became interested in hearing impairment back in 1969, while a student at Mississippi College and student teaching at Magnolia Speech School, the oral school for the hearing impaired and language impaired founded by that remarkable lady, Mrs. Elizabeth "Libba" Matthews. At her urging, my wife, Sue, our baby girl, Charlotte, and I moved to St. Louis to enroll in Washington University, whose speech and hearing department was affiliated with Central Institute for the Deaf and Barnes Hospital. The combination was perfect for me. I ended up with training in education of the hearing impaired, audiology, and speech language pathology, staying an extra year beyond the master's degree so I could take every course available. What an opportunity to sit at the feet of the pioneers in our field--those who were helping people hear even before transistors made wearable hearing aids a possibility. I was permitted to see the first digital hearing aid, which was about the size of a juke box, the first ABR testing, and the first early intervention program for deaf children. I was also able to begin research into the effects of providing even limited auditory input as an aid to lipreading, a lifelong interest of mine. Finally, realizing my growing family needed a full-time wage earner, we moved back to Mississippi and I joined the staff at Magnolia, becoming its second executive director when Libba retired. There I was able to design and implement the first parent education program for parents of hearing impaired children in Mississippi, the first use of ear level hearing aids for the profoundly deaf, the first home based and classroom based programs for hearing impaired and language impaired toddlers in the state, and our first reverse mainstreaming program. The excellent staff of teachers and aides made it possible for us to obtain full state and regional accreditation for the school and a national reputation as one of the best such programs in the nation. I received the Ph.D. degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1980. With the support of Drs. Hollis and Julia Todd I was able to coordinate and develop a speech and hearing program at Mississippi College. In 1991 I retired to enter private practice and began providing services to industry, to state agencies, to nursing home residents, and, of course to individuals. Many of my patients today are those I first served 35 years ago at Magnolia. In the meantime, technology has moved at the speed of computer power, with true digital in the ear instruments, cochlear implants, wireless transmission, and so much more. What a time to be in this field! Times truly are changing, but the foundation of success continues to be, perhaps even more than ever before, communication. Whatever your age, whatever your hearing situation, whatever your life interests, you need to hear as clearly and accurately as possible. We're here to help if we can, and we plan to be around a while longer.
As we learn more about updating websites, I hope to replace the stock pictures on here with some of my family and my patients. Our mission is simple: to serve God through loving those who need us. Family and friends like you are the focus of our current stage in life. Come back to this site and see what we add next week!