Written By: Melody Bertrand
The 2020 AG Bell Global Virtual Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) Symposium will be a place to learn, network and connect with colleagues all over the world—without needing to travel. This year, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, AG Bell determined that the safest option to bring valuable educational content to its attendees is by hosting a Virtual Symposium on July 9-10, 2020.
This year’s co-chairs, Alliete Alfano and Arlene Stredler-Brown, are looking forward to offering a great educational program through an interactive, online format. “Attendees can expect to learn new things in a different format, which is very timely since so much of the world is remote at this time,” said Alfano.
“Our symposium agenda has been tailored to the remote delivery of up-to-date information,” added Stredler-Brown. “With Q&A time allocated, opportunities to discuss what you learned are included.”
Same Great Learning Opportunities
Although the format is very different from an in-person meeting, participants in the Virtual Symposium can expect top-level learning opportunities from leaders in the LSL field. “Speakers are planning to adjust their presentations to make the materials they share not only relevant, but accessible online and engaging,” Stredler-Brown said.
In addition to four exceptional keynote presenters, the Virtual Symposium will offer concurrent sessions, two technology forums, and social opportunities with breakouts on a range of topics and interests. “Attendees can look forward to some relaxed format ‘happy hours’ where you can connect with your colleagues to discuss shared interests,” Alfano noted.
The keynote presenters for the Virtual Symposium—Drs. Kara Schvartz-Leyzac, Lina Reiss, Linda J. Hood and Lisa Davidson—are developing incredibly informative presentations on special research topics involving hearing and auditory devices. Their individual research focuses on specific areas of device use and effectiveness, but their collective knowledge will provide even the most experienced professional new insight into aspects of device use that can be easily overlooked. Topics will include cochlear implants and auditory-nerve health, binaural fusion, auditory neuropathy, and acoustic hearing. Summaries of the keynote presentations can be found on the Virtual Symposium website.
Similar to the in-person conference, the Virtual Symposium will offer three simultaneous concurrent sessions per one-hour time slot throughout the two days of programming. Attendees have access to all recorded sessions for up to three weeks after the symposium, which helps if two are scheduled at the same time.
As Alfano noted, “I’m looking forward to hearing the slate of great speakers that will help us work with our families in more ways, including via teletherapy.” Sessions will still represent six learning tracks: Audiology, LSL Development, Cognitive and Literacy Development, Mentoring, Special Populations, and Professional Issues.
Participants will have many opportunities to socialize, catch up with colleagues and friends, and make new connections. To wrap up each day, AG Bell will host a social happy hour where attendees can choose to attend a meet-up based on different topics. In a smaller, more targeted setting, attendees will still be able to make the connections that an in-person conference often provides.
As professionals have transitioned to working in a remote setting, it’s important to choose an online format that will aid in recreating, as much as possible, the great learning opportunities found with personal interaction. People are not alone in their endeavors to provide online education, intervention or therapy. Together, the Virtual Symposium is designed to provide valuable lectures and interactive sessions geared to further knowledge and skill development.
Participate Live or On Demand
Those who register as a professional will have up to three weeks to view recorded symposium presentations. Attendees may choose to join the live symposium July 9 and 10 and interact with colleagues, or view later when time allows. Those who register as a professional will be able to view the Virtual Symposium and claim CEUs until July 31, 2020.
Attendees can join live symposium sessions, view recorded sessions, or do a mix of live and recorded sessions to earn their CEUs and be with others who are interested in LSL. The hearing technology forums and happy hours are only available as live sessions. Choosing a mix of live and recorded sessions will be easy through an online learning platform, and all sessions will be available in English and Spanish. Other languages may be made available upon request to [email protected].
Registration for the Virtual Symposium is available at www.agbellsymposium.com.