Maki Yazaki is an audiologist and a speech language pathologist who works with patients of all ages with cochlear implants at the Hyogo Medical University Hospital in Japan.

She recently qualified as a certified Listening and Spoken Language Specialist Auditory Verbal Therapist (LSLS Cert AVT) after completing AVUK’s foundation course and advanced course. She said: “I first found out about Auditory Verbal therapy when I was studying in Canada. It was so inspiring to see deaf children listen and talk so fluently.  It inspired me to want to become an Auditory Verbal Therapist but there were no mentors in Japan.

“I am so thankful that Auditory Verbal UK provided training online for professionals living abroad, and my dream has finally come true.

Maki is now the first qualified Auditory Verbal Therapist in Japan is supporting deaf children to learn to listen and talk with Auditory Verbal therapy.

Auditory Verbal therapy is a family-centred specialist approach to developing spoken language through listening for deaf children. It supports deaf children aged between 0 and 5 learn how to make sense of the sound they receive through their hearing technology, like cochlear implants and hearing aids, and develop spoken language so they can learn to talk like their hearing friends. 

“The training programme is amazing and the mentors and instructors are tremendously helpful. My ambition now is to make Auditory Verbal therapy available to all children with hearing loss and their families in Japan.  I want more professionals in my country to train and be certified in Auditory Verbal therapy and I would love to develop a training system so that more Japanese professionals have access to the AVT training too.”

Auditory Verbal therapy is delivered by teachers of the deaf, speech and language therapists and audiologists who have undergone a minimum of three years additional post-graduate training, alongside their current role, to become a certified Auditory Verbal Therapist.

Auditory Verbal UK is an internationally accredited training provider and provides training to UK and international professionals in the Auditory Verbal therapy approach so that more deaf babies and children can access Auditory Verbal therapy close to where they live.

Find out more about AVUK’s training programme here

Recent research by AVUK, backed up by international evidence, shows that 80% of children who attend an Auditory Verbal therapy programme for at least two years achieve the same level of spoken language as their hearing peers, rising to 97% of children without additional needs. The majority of these children are attaining educational outcomes on a par with hearing children and attend mainstream schools.