The mission of the Department of Communication Disorders and Special Education is to prepare future clinicians, educators, leaders, researchers and policy makers serving individuals having developmental, intellectual, emotional, and communication disabilities and disorders, and to serve as an exemplary center for educational and clinical research and practice in the disciplines preparing these professionals.
CDSE offers programs in communication sciences and disorders (speech-language pathology) at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and special education at the graduate level. The graduate program in Communication Sciences and Disorders is accredited by the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association and prepares graduates for careers in a wide variety of clinical and academic settings. The special education master's degree program prepares school and agency personnel to design and implement programs for individuals with disabilities in a variety of settings.
Other activities of the department include operation of the Tidewater Scottish Rite Center for Childhood Speech and Language Disorders, the University Speech and Hearing Clinic, The Child Development Center, the preschool/kindergarten program and the Kiwanis Parenting Center. These clinical programs, housed in the Lions Child Study Center, give students valuable practical experience, deliver needed clinical and educational services to members of the Hampton Roads community and provide a focus for innovative faculty and student research. There are approximately 250 families served by the clinical programs in the Child Study Center every year.
In addition, the department has initiated a special education distance learning endorsement program (CSEEP) funded through a grant from the Virginia Department of Education. To accomplish the objectives of this grant, a collaborative network has been developed among school divisions, state-operated programs, the Virginia Department of Education and Old Dominion University. Another statewide project, the Training and Technical Assistance Consortium (T-TAC), is housed in the Child Study Center. This program was designed to improve services to preschool children with disabilities in Virginia and is one of five regional centers that provide field based technical assistance directly to the persons requesting assistance, such as training seminars, consultation and demonstration.
The Speech and Hearing clinic provides diagnostic and therapy services for adults and children with speech, language, and hearing disorders.
The Oral Preschool program is a unique educational setting for young children with hearing loss.