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The Callier Center's Summer Listening Camp a Success

Kids enjoy the UT Dallas Callier Center for Communication Disorders' annual camp

Over 40 kids and three dozen counselors participated in this year's camp.

July 31, 2023 – The University of Texas at Dallas Callier Center for Communication Disorders hosted its annual Summer Listening Camp last week, inviting over 40 kids, aged 4-11, for a week of learning and interaction. The hearing loss of these “campers” ranged from moderate (needing hearing aids) to significant (requiring bilateral cochlear implants). Regardless of the needs of the child, the camp strove to provide opportunities for the growth of the child as well as an understanding for the parents of their child’s current learning position.

CFO Benedict Voit visited the camp last week. “It was heartwarming to interact with kids who, despite having lives challenged by hearing loss, appeared completely unbothered and instead focused on enjoying all that the camp had to offer,” Voit commented. “The week at the camp was comprised of five days of learning and fun. At Qualia Oto, we strive to advance technology such that every day for every individual with a cochlear implant is just another day where they can be completely unbothered by their hearing impediments.”

Voit went on to note that Qualia Oto’s research and development work is exciting, but it is easy to get lost in the company’s technology without stepping back and remembering the product’s end user.

“Obviously the company is dependent upon continued scientific innovation,” Voit said. “Our products are reconfiguring the cochlear implant market to secure the reputation and sales needed for ongoing growth. However, while a strong bottom line is critical to our corporate existence, we must remember that part of our mission is driven by humanity. The potential and the impact of that humanity was abundantly clear at the camp.”

The Callier Center is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, and the camp is approaching its 30th year of engagement.

“The camp started in 1996,” Director of Speech-Language Pathology and Cochlear Implant Program Manager Melissa Sweeney said. “Since that time, it is remarkable the growth we have seen and the impact we have had on so many lives. I am thrilled to know what Callier has been able to achieve, and I am excited to think of our potential over the next three decades.”

The increased support that the Callier Center has received from both the UT System and private contributions has allowed an expansion of the camp and what it can offer. This year, three dozen individuals participated – from undergraduate and graduate students to Callier Center staff and volunteers – resulting in nearly a 1:1 ratio of counselors to campers.

Justin Banta, Senior Director of Development for the Callier Center, believes there is a bright future for the cochlear implant industry, driven by collaborations between universities and the startup communities like UT Dallas and Qualia Oto: “It is amazing to see the innovation in hearing technology coming out of UT Dallas,” he said. “Qualia Oto’s cochlear implant technologies continue in the tradition of leading-edge treatment being developed here. It makes me excited to be a part of this community.”

Voit concluded that beyond pure quarterly financial metrics and pushing the bounds of technology innovation and monetization, Qualia Oto strongly believes in balancing civic duties with near-term corporate pursuits: “Our team consists of leadership who deem that a strong moral compass in advancing patient care is essential for a healthy long-standing business.”

Qualia Oto expects to expand its involvement with the Callier Center over the coming years.


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