A Conversation with Jim & Lea Watson!
As Certified Listening and Spoken Language Specialists, Jim and Lea Watson have over forty-five years experience promoting listening and speaking as a way of life for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Both trained under the late Auditory-Verbal Pioneers, Dr. Daniel Ling and Helen Beebe. Jim’s and Lea’s certification in LSLS Cert AVT is from 1994, the initial exam.
Jim is a past president of Auditory-Verbal International and past Board member of the A G Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. In 1980, Jim implemented the Auditory-Verbal Inclusion Program for children who are d/hoh in the Gloucester Public School System, Gloucester, MA USA. He directed and expanded that program for 34 years.
In 1980, as a husband-wife team, Lea and Jim started the Auditory-Verbal Communication Center in Gloucester, MA-a private practice offering parent guidance for families from all over New England. The Watsons helped children attend school in their hometowns until specialists became available in those locations. Lea specialized in teaching parents of infants and preschoolers. She is the recipient of the 2008 Helen H. Beebe Memorial Award for mentors in AVT. From day one, the Watsons accepted students and other professionals to observe therapy or mentor with them.
Throughout their career they presented at Boston hospitals and at conferences with the A G Bell Association and the New England Cochlear Implant Association. As international consultants for children with hearing loss they worked in Canada, England, Australia, Qatar, and around the USA. They volunteered in Vietnam in 2011 & 2012 with the Global Foundation for children with hearing loss. In 2020, they taught an online introductory course in Auditory-Verbal Therapy with the University of Hong Kong Special Education Dept.
Now, retired, Jim and Lea spend time traveling, sailing, hiking, writing, painting, as they continue to speak up and promote spoken language for children who are deaf/hard of hearing.
Most of all, they enjoy listening and talking with their five grandchildren who all live in Gloucester.
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