2014 Volta Award
AG Bell presented the 2014 AG Bell Volta Award to Ann Geers, Ph.D., and Jean Sachar Moog, M.S., LSLS Cert. AVEd, at a reception at the Washington University School of Medicine held May 1. Geers and Moog were jointly selected for this prestigious honor because of their outstanding and extensive collaboration and contributions to the research and the body of knowledge about the impact of listening and spoken language on the education of the deaf.
The Volta Award is given to individuals and/or organizations that have made a significant contribution to increasing public awareness of the challenges and potential of people with hearing loss.
"AG Bell is thrilled to honor Ann Geers and Jean Sachar Moog with this award. Their impact on the field of listening and spoken language, and most importantly, on the lives and education of individuals with hearing loss, is immeasurable," said Emilio Alonso-Mendoza, J.D., CFRE, AG Bell Chief Executive Officer. "Their joint work has strengthened research methodologies and statistical analysis in the field, and has moved the profession toward evidence-based practice," added Susan Lenihan, Ph.D., CED, who serves on the AG Bell board of directors.
Geers is a research professor at the Callier Center for Advanced Hearing Research in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences and at the University of Texas at Dallas and in the Dallas Cochlear Implant Program at the Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. She received a Ph.D. in Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis. For more than 20 years she was Director of Clinical Services and Head of the Center for Applied Research in Childhood Deafness at Central Institute for the Deaf in St. Louis, Mo.
In addition to publishing more than 100 articles and book chapters on the speech, language, cognitive and academic development of deaf children, Geers has developed and published tests of speech perception, speech production, language and intelligence. She has been a principal investigator or co-investigator on six research grants from the U.S. National Institutes of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Her current work focuses on auditory, speech, language and academic/social development in children who receive cochlear implants in infancy and preschool.
Moog has been in the field of deaf education for over 45 years. She received a Master of Science degree in Speech and Hearing and is a certified Listening and Spoken Language Specialist (LSLS®). Moog is internationally renowned for her work in the education of the deaf and hard of hearing children to develop listening and spoken language.
Moog developed assessment and rehabilitation procedures for children with hearing losses and has developed 10 evaluation instruments that have been translated into many languages and employed worldwide by educators, audiologists and speech-language pathologists. Moog is the Founding Director of the Moog Center for Deaf Education in St. Louis, Mo. She has helped establish seven additional Certified Moog Programs, six in the United States and one in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Geers and Moog originally collaborated as colleagues at Central Institute for the Deaf (Center for Applied Research in Childhood Deafness) in the 1970s and 1980s. Although Geers moved to the University of Texas at Dallas in 2002, and Moog founded the first Moog Center in 1996, the two continued to work together, and design and carry out research projects to this day. Their impact on the field of listening and spoken language education for children who are deaf and hard of hearing is immeasurable.
Some of the results in their collaborative work appeared as articles in AG Bell's The Volta Review, including, "Factors Predictive of the Development of Literacy in Profoundly Hearing-Impaired Adolescents" (1989), and "Description of the CID Sensory Aids Study" (1994). Other interviews, books, and articles of and about their work include the following:
- Geers, A., & Moog, J. S. (1975). Scales of early communication skills for hearing impaired children. St. Louis, MO: Central Institute for the Deaf.
- Geers, A., & Moog, J. S. (1990). Early speech perception test for profoundly hearing-impaired children. St. Louis, MO: Central Institute for the Deaf.
- Geers, A. E., & Moog, J. S. (1978). Syntactic Maturity of Spontaneous Speech and Elicited Imitation of Hearing-Impaired Children. Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 43, 380-391.
- Geers, A. E., & Moog, J. S. (1987). Predicting Spoken Language Acquisition of Profoundly Hearing-Impaired Children. Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 52, 84-94.
- Geers, A. E., & Moog, J.S. (2010) Early Educational Placement and Later Language Outcomes for Children with Cochlear Implants. Otology & Neurotology, 31(8), 1315-1319.
Geers' and Moog's joint research spans all areas of the field: from designing assessment measures for communication, language, speech perception and production, to language and literacy, to developing instructional strategies. They have meticulously documented the benefits of cochlear implants for children with hearing loss to develop listening and spoken language and the indispensability of listening and spoken language development for mainstream educational settings. Their joint work has strengthened research methodologies and statistical analysis in the field, and has moved the profession towards evidence-based practice.