Dr. Christine Yoshinaga-Itano is a professor of Audiology in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, Institute of Cognitive Science, Center for Neurosciences, University of Colorado at Boulder; Department of Otolaryngology and Audiology, University of Colorado at Denver; and the Marion Downs Hearing Center. She isa world leader in research and, for 30 years, has been studying language, speech, and social-emotional development of deaf and hard-of-hearing infants and children. Her ground-breaking research has produced unequivocal evidence that early detection and intervention of hearing loss is successful in having a significant impact on language learning of children with hearing loss.
Dr. Yoshinaga-Itano received her bachelors degree in psychology from the University of Southern California, followed by a masters degree in education of the hearing impaired, and her PhD in audiology and hearing impairment from Northwestern University. She is a teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing and an audiologist. In 1996, she and co-investigator Kathy Arehart received a five-year MCH grant for Universal Newborn Hearing Screening that established the Marion Downs National Center, now the Marion Downs Hearing Center. The present co-director, Sandra Abbot Gabbard, states that Dr. Yoshinaga-Itanos research has had a broad impact: Health and education policies have changed globally; professional standards in audiology, medicine, early childhood and deaf education have been revised; and families worldwide with children who are deaf and hard of hearing have new hope for their childrens futures.
Since 1996, Dr. Yoshinaga-Itano has helped to support many state departments of education and public health agencies, schools for the deaf and blind, and early intervention programs throughout the United States and its territories. As well as her work in the United States, she has served as a consultant supporting many countries advancing their own early hearing detection and intervention programs, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, Korea, Belgium, Poland, Spain, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Thailand, Philippines, and South Africa.
The esteemed Dr. Marion Downs has said, In my opinion Dr. Yoshinaga-Itano is responsible for the fact that nearly every child born in the United States is now being screened for hearing loss in the newborn nurseries of this country. Ive lost count of the number of countries that have fallen suit. Her research on the advantages of early identification, accomplished with her usual meticulous control, and pediatric journal articles, finally convinced physicians to throw their support for newborn screening in the nations hospitals. Anyone who has sat in her classes has been inspired in their audiological career and has gone out with new enthusiasm to spread the word about what can be done regarding hearing losses, from birth to old age.
Dr. Jerry Northern has said, Dr Yoshinaga-Itano is a woman and a professional of the utmost integrity and who is highly regarded and widely recognized by all who know her and her work. For her overwhelming dedication to the profession and her innumerable contributions, she has earned the respect, admiration, and appreciation of audiologists and colleagues around the world. Her contributions to pediatric audiology are truly legendary.
Leanne Seaver, former executive director of Hands & Voices has said, Her wisdom, her expertise, and her compassion make her such a unique voice and presence for families and to the field at large. Congratulations to Dr. Yoshinaga-Itano for her many achievements and receipt of this prestigious award!