Sound Advice is hosting a screening of the US-produced 95 Decibels short film (2013) on June 10th at 11am at the Irish Film Institute in Dublin, to explore the emotional obstacles parents face with an unexpected diagnosis of deafness for their child. In the film, the young (hearing) parents Erica and Dylan, struggle over what path to take for their deaf daughter, Sophia, whose hearing issues are detected at 18 months old.

The 95 Decibels film (27:30) features actor Goran Visnijc from NBC’s ERand is based on a true story in the United States to educate on the early detection of hearing issues in infants while seeking to improve acceptance of cochlear implants as a digital hearing technology.

The teaching in this film perfectly complements Sound Advice’s approach:

  1. Digital hearing aids and cochlear implants in the first year of life give babies who are deaf or hard of hearing the best possible sound to access spoken language.

  2. Guidance from audiologists, ENT surgeons and speech-language teachers is vital as babies and their families learn to use spoken language in a hearing world.

  3. Auditory-verbal (hearing-speech) therapy optimises infant outcomes with early detection, family involvement and top-quality hearing devices or technology.

Dublin was the first overseas city to screen 95 Decibels in January 2014and we are delighted to host a repeat screening and Q&A with the film directors, visiting from the US.

” The 95 Decibels film directly fits Sound Advice’s message of early detection for babies with severe to profound deafness in Ireland, who can learn to listen and talk with infant hearing-devices and parent-led spoken language interactions”, says Caroline Carswell, founder of Sound Advice. ” While the HSE’s national newborn hearing test initiative in 2011 and – since 2014 – bilateral cochlear implants for children – are massive steps forward, what parents in Ireland really need, is sustained coaching in the listening-and-talking approach as their infants grow. This film-screening and dialogue with the film directors and some current deaf teens from Ireland, aim to explore how that outcome can be achieved. “

The Listening and Talking Approach

Since 2007, Sound Advice highlighted the listening-and-talking approach for deaf infants in Ireland, with founder Caroline Carswell (and team members) benefiting from this family-centred spoken-language development as very young children. Their self-taught speech therapist practised Auditory-Verbal Therapy (AVT) in Ireland in the 1950s on a semi-private basis at Dublin’s Harcourt Street Hospital, but was not replaced on retirement in the 1990s.

A key theme of 95 Decibels is the Listening and Talking approach for deaf children – also known as Auditory-Verbal Therapy (AVT). The 95 Decibels team finds much success in the AVT approach, which maximises the use of a child’s hearing for learning. AVT promotes infant detection of hearing issues, one-on-one speech therapy and digital hearing-device management. With guidance, coaching and modelling, parents are the primary enablers of their child’s spoken language progress and ultimately gain belief that their child can access multiple academic, social, and occupational choices in their life.

For more details about the event, please visit:


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