Clarity Revitalizes Mobile Preschool Screening Program through grant awarded from the Margaret Linder Southern Endowment Fund

Clarity: The Speech, Hearing, and Learning Center is a proud recipient of the 2018 Margaret Linder Southern Endowment Fund. The Margaret Linder Southern Endowment established with the Community Foundation of Greenville supports – early childhood education, special education for children and youth, and the humane treatment of animals. The funds awarded allows for the purchase of updated assessment equipment that will identify hearing loss and/or speech/language delays in pre-school aged children.

Clarity’s providers know that early Identification of hearing loss and/or speech/language delays is essential to improving long-term developmental outcomes. Clarity plans to offer screenings free of charge to area preschools, daycares, and HeadStart programs.  These screenings will immediately provide parents with results, and those children who are identified as needing services will be made aware of services available through BabyNet (under age 3) and Child Find (age 3 and up). The Margaret Linder Southern Endowment Fund will also make it possible for us to increase our pre-school screening capacity. Clarity plans to screen at least 750 pre-schoolers throughout 2018.

Clarity is grateful for the legacy that Margret Southern left for our community. Because of Mrs. Southern’s generosity, agencies like Clarity are able to provide top-notch care to pre-schoolers in Greenville and make certain that they have a foundation for a successful future.

Clarity is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit provider of evaluation and treatment for hearing, speech, and learning and developmental disorders in children and adults. The agency is a partner of the Center for Developmental Services in downtown Greenville.

Counseling Services now available at Clarity with Tara Compton, MEd, LPC

Clarity: The Speech, Hearing, and Learning Center has recently expanded the learning and psychology department to include counseling services with the addition of Licensed Professional Counselor, Tara Compton, MEd, LPC. Tara earned her Masters of Education degree in Counselor Education at Clemson University and is a Licensed Professional Counselor in South Carolina. Tara has provided counseling services to at-risk youth through Intensive In-Home Services, Juvenile Drug Court, and a Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility, as well as working with adults who struggle with substance abuse.

Tara is currently taking referrals for new clients who need assistance managing symptoms of any of the following

  • ADHD
  • High-Functioning Autism
  • Mild to Moderate Anxiety Disorders/ Phobias/OCD
  • Mild to Moderate Depression/Mood Disorders
  • PTSD/Trauma
  • Other Stress Related Disorders
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Impulse-Control Disorders
  • Mild to Moderate Substance Abuse
  • Parent-Child Relational Problems.

Tara will provide an assessment to determine appropriate mental health diagnoses and counseling to assist with managing symptoms. Tara’s primary theoretical framework is based on Reality Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Using techniques from these and other therapeutic approaches, Tara is able to help her clients better manage their symptoms and have more control over their lives.

Clarity is currently accepting private pay patients and those with SC Healthy Connections Medicaid. We will soon be able to accept Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans, First Choice by Select Health, Molina, Wellcare, and Absolute Total Care. Please use the attached referral to refer a patient for counseling services or call our office at (864) 331-1400.

Many adults think hearing loss is the total absence of sound. If that were true, people would wake up one day and with the complete inability to hear ALL sounds and chances are good that they would RUSH to their doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

This is not what we as adults experience. For adults hearing loss is typically a gradual onset. Statistics indicate it takes the average adult seven years to recognize and seek testing and treatment for decreased hearing. During this time, the mind rationalizes why hearing has become less precise. People attribute their hearing loss to others mumbling or failing to speak clearly. They may think that others complaining the TV volume is too loud is just unfounded. They may decide not to participate in activities where listening is important and become out of touch with family and friends. They do learn to look at faces and guess at words that are not clear. Unfortunately, sometimes they may guess wrong and could proceed to “wash the dog” instead of the requested ” walk the dog.” After a time, they may decide to seek the help of an audiologist who can check their hearing and advise on options for hearing improvement. Most often the improvement is accomplished with hearing aids. Today hearing aids are small computers that are adjusted to each individual’s needs.

If you have concerns for hearing loss for you or someone you care about consider having a hearing evaluation or consult. To find out more about these services visit the Hearing and Audiology section of our website.

To read more about adult hearing loss, read this article by Audrey Carlsen: The Real Sounds of Hearing Loss 

Clarity continues to provide the most advanced digital hearing aids and technology that assist in ensuring our clients hear as clearly as possible. Continue reading to learn more about the three devices available at Clarity.

BAHA Bone Conduction Hearing System 

Our Audiologists, Holly Hurley and Sally Whitson, our now offering the BAHA bone conduction hearing system. This is for patients who have no ear canal on one or both sides or whose ear canals do not connect through to the eardrum. The device is placed on the bone behind the ear and secured with a soft headband that is offered in a variety of colors and sizes. The sound is sent by bone conduction to the inner ear, thereby bypassing the middle ear space.  This is a way of restoring hearing immediately to those who are not a good candidate for traditional hearing aids and who otherwise would not be able to hear voices.

Audioscan Verifit Binaural Real Ear Heaing Aid Verification System

Thanks to grant support, Clarity purchased an Audioscan Verifit Binaural Real Ear Hearing Aid Verification System; which is a state-of-the-art system for programming and verifying hearing aids. The system was installed on February 7th and so far over 10 pediatric patients have had their hearing aids fit and verified using the new system. In addition, many of our adult patients and previously fit pediatric patients have benefited from the Verifit as well.

How does the system work? The system allows for tiny microphones to be placed near the eardrum to determine what the patient is hearing through their hearing aids at the lel of the eardrum, and it corrects for their own personal ear resonance. With the Verifit, both ears can be tested and programmed at the same time! This saves time for our clients which is especially important in the pediatric population.

Using the Audioscan Verifit is a way of making sure pediatric and adult patients alike are getting every benefit from their hearing aids, whether the hearing aids are current or new.

Direct to iPhone Hearing Aids

Since August of 2016, Clarity has been dispensing Oticon hearing aids that connect wirelessly to iPhones without wearing an extra device. This is a convenience that our patients are really enjoying. Just recently, two other manufacturers, Widex and Signia (formerly Siemens) introduced their version of direct-to-iPhone hearing aids, opening this technology to a wide variety of hearing aid styles and power levels. We expect a version that connects to Android phones to be available this summer.

If you are interested in learning more about this technology contact us at or at (864)331-1400.  

Clarity, serving the Greenville community for almost 70 years, is pleased to announce Elizabeth “Liz” Ingram Shands, Ph.D. as the new Executive Director. Dr. Shands, fills the vacancy left by Dr. Stephen Guryan who served as the Executive Director of Clarity from 2000-2016.

Dr. Shands is a licensed psychologist who is well acquainted with the mission of Clarity, having completed her post-doctoral fellowship there in 2008-2009. She returned to Clarity as a Staff Psychologist in June of 2015 after serving as a School Psychologist in Greenville County Schools for six years. Dr. Shands has served as the Director of the Learning and Psychology Department since August of 2015, and was selected as the new Executive Director by Clarity’s board of directors in January of 2017. Dr. Shands states, ” I am passionate about serving individuals with hearing, speech, and learning concerns, and working with them and their families. I look forward to leading Clarity into our 70th year as we continue to be the most esteemed Upstate provider of speech, hearing, and learning services that are accessible to all individuals.”

Under Dr. Shands leadership, Clarity’s Learning and Psychology department has grown, restructured, and expanded its service offerings. Dr. Shands will continue to serve clients at Clarity as the lead psychologist. Clarity expects Dr. Shands to bring new growth and programs such as learning intervention to Clarity that will better serve the children and adults of Upstate South Carolina. She also hopes to assist families who are financially stressed in obtaining answers about their loved ones learning challenges through the support of Clarity Cares. You can support these goals by making a donation today by making a donation to Clarity Cares through Paypal. More information about Clarity Cares is below.

Walter Montgomery, son of Scott and Laura Montgomery, came to Clarity to get Walter’s hearing re-tested with our Audiological Brainstem Response (ABR) equipment. At the time of their testing, our equipment required the clients to be asleep. With our new equipment, we can test babies and children while they are wide awake. Thanks to a grant from Greenville Women Giving and another anonymous grant, Clarity was able to purchase this equipment in the fall of 2009. “I think that the most important thing is that if their child does fail their newborn hearing screening that they need to get another screening done to confirm it,” says Walter’s mom, Laura Montgomery.

WYFF News 4’s Carol Goldsmith recently featured their story.

Neill Bickerstaff has been a client at Clarity since he was five years old. However, Neill faces a lot more challenges than most 9 years olds each day. He has 22Q11 Deletion Syndrome. This means that he is missing the tail end of his 22nd chromosome. “It doesn’t sound like a big deal when you talk about a chromosome but that disorder can affect 180 different manifestations in his entire being,” said Neill’s mother, Ashley Bickerstaff.

WYFF News 4’s Kim McCrea recently featured their story.

Clarity celebrates Better Hearing and Speech Month by offering free hearing and speech screenings on May 30, 2009. The screenings will take place at Scott Towers on Augusta Street from 11am-2pm. Both the hearing and speech screenings take about 5 minutes each. The age range for the hearing screenings are children age 5 and older through adults. The age range for the speech screenings are children between the ages of 3-8.

Nicole Grier and her son Nicholas agree that being screened at an early age can make all the difference in a childs life. WYFF News 4’s Kim McCrea recently featured their story.

Get to Know Clarity