Julia Sarant

University of Melbourne Australia

Julia Sarant has been conducting research and working clinically with hearing impaired children for over 20 years. Her recent work has identified factors predictive of speech perception and spoken language development in school-aged and preschool children, and provided the first published evidence of factors and outcomes in preschool children in Australia. She and her colleague, Blamey, also developed a language-based selection criterion for cochlear implantation language outcomes in children. Sarant and Blamey also developed language-based training methods that have been implemented and validated with children using cochlear implants and hearing aids in Australian primary schools. Also as a result of her collaborative research, early intervention centres and schools in the state of Victoria have changed their practices to incorporate evidence-based teaching (based on specific and individual assessment programs initiated as part of the research). Dr Sarant is currently leading a 5-year Australian Research Council (ARC)-funded Linkage Project investigating language, psychosocial and academic development outcomes in children with unilateral versus bilateral implants, and the degree to which children with one and two implants are disabled, in terms of functional listening skills, in daily life. This research is providing some of the first evidence world-wide regarding broader outcomes for children with bilateral implants. She is also a Chief Investigator on a further 4-year ARC-funded Linkage Project investigating early cognitive development and early parent-child interaction (which affects child outcomes) in very young children with cochlear implants, as well as other factors that impact on oral language outcomes.

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