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Many children who are deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) who graduate from the CAOS program, and children who receive audiology services through the ECHO (Expanding Children’s Hearing Opportunities) program at Carle are attending school along side their hearing peers. Hearing loss can impact how children learn and make academic progress during their school years. With support from professionals who understand the impact of hearing loss on learning, and can provide the appropriate intervention, students who are DHH can develop strong reading, writing, and academic skills. 

The Outreach Program provides direct services and consultation for children who are DHH, and their families, as well as professionals who work with them. The goal is to empower parents and school's staff to use strategies that best support the student who is DHH in the home, community, general education or special education setting.  A teacher of students who are DHH or a speech language pathologist from the ECHO program can provide any combination of the following services:


  • Academic and speech-language evaluations.

  • After-school tutoring (in-person or via tele-therapy).

  • Educational support in the school (in-person or via tele-therapy).


  • Observations of the student in the classroom and recommendations for educational programming.

  • Review of existing Individualized Educational Program (IEP) or Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP).

  • Guidance and coaching for participation and advocacy during IEP and IFSP meetings.


  • Staff in-service about impact of hearing loss on learning and strategies for supporting students in a mainstream environment.

  • Observations of the student in the classroom and recommendations for educational programming.

  • Academic and speech-language evaluations.

  • Assistance with development of Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

  • Provision of direct services to students who are DHH.

To schedule a complimentary consultation please complete this short form or, for additional information, please contact or call (217) 383-4375.

Research Efforts

The education and rehabilitation of children who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) is informed by ongoing research related to hearing technology and evidence-based practices. Through the Carle Pediatric Hearing Center and CAOS, the ECHO program is committed to providing medical, audiological, rehabilitational and educational intervention based on the most current evidence-based practices. Additionally, we’re committed to contribute to the current knowledge in this field by conducting research studies at Carle and through collaborations with other universities, hospitals and schools.

CAOS has been contributing annual outcome data to the Listening and Spoken Language Data Repository (LSL-DR) hosted by OPTION, an international coalition of programs that advance listening and spoken language education by supporting and promoting educational options for children, measuring outcomes, establishing and sharing best practices, and raising awareness through advocacy. As an OPTION member program, CAOS has IRB approval through both Carle and the University of Miami to collect, analyze, present and publish information about outcomes for children who are deaf and hard of hearing that use listening and spoken langauge to communicate. Research on outcomes of students at CAOS as well as within the broader OPTION coalition has been presented at various national and international conferences. Click here to review selected presentations and papers.

Additionally, CAOS has facilitated research projects with graduate students in audiology and speech-language pathology from the University of Illinois, Eastern Illinois University and Illinois State University. Topics for these research projects have included development of vocabulary and reading skills in children with hearing loss, and examination of the progress of children with hearing loss and other secondary learning issues.

Through the Pediatric Hearing Center we have been involved in several FDA studies regarding approval of new cochlear implant devices and expansion of cochlear implant candidacy criteria since the ECHO program’s inception in 1987.

Charitable gifts help fund our outreach and research efforts.