"It's super rewarding to watch how they feed off of each other and make improvements," said Lauren Costner (above left). Costner, Kaela Powers (above middle), and Logan Mims (not shown) are graduate clinicians working on a research study.

It’s a Friday morning, and UNC Greensboro’s Speech and Hearing Center has the warm feel of a group of friends catching up. The conversation flows so easily, despite that two members in the group would be unable to hear without a small electronic device visible just behind the ear.

The meeting of graduate students in the School of Health and Human Sciences’ Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and older adult community members is part of a leading-edge research project measuring the impact of support provided to older adults with cochlear implants.

“We’re the exception rather than the rule here,” said Dr. Denise Tucker, Professor and principal investigator for the project. “It’s not common for late-deafened adults with cochlear implants to have this kind of opportunity.”

The Cochlear Implant Connections (CIC) research project is a three-year study with its roots in a clinical service program that ran between 2007 and 2014 at UNCG. Tucker and Dr. Mary V. Compton, associate professor emeritus and co-investigator, noticed children with cochlear implants received support while older adults were left out.

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Originally published Apr. 22, 2019.

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