Christine Yoshinaga-Itano, PhD

Research Professor, Professor Emerita; University of Colorado-Boulder

Dr. Christine Yoshinaga-Itano’s research focuses in the areas of language, speech, and social-emotional development of deaf and hard-of-hearing infants and children. She is both a teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing and an audiologist. She has concentrated on the impact of early-identification and early intervention on the developmental outcomes of children with significant hearing loss. Dr. Yoshinaga-Itano was the first to demonstrate that when infants with hearing loss are identified in the first few months of life and provided with appropriate intervention services, that 80% are able to maintain age-appropriate language development and intelligible speech in the first five years of life. She also studies the development of infants/toddlers and children with hearing disabilities in non-English speaking homes. The impact of early identification and intervention on successful outcomes of children with hearing loss was found irrespective of socio-economic status, method of communication, race/ethnicity, or gender. As a direct result of her research studies, universal newborn hearing screening programs have now been implemented in all 50 states and also in many countries throughout the world.

“We have the ability to help families figure out how to make it the best communication opportunity for their child, but only when we have a better picture of what their daily life looks like,” she said.