What is Royal Arch Research Assistance?
Since its concept in 1974, Royal Arch Research Assistance (R.A.R.A)
has been the world's leading philanthropy dedicated to helping children with
Central Auditory Processing Disorders. R.A.R.A., through the contributions of
the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, International, supports the
Center for Central Auditory Research at Colorado State University, where
continuous efforts are being made to understand and treat individuals with
Central Auditory Processing Disorders.
At the 1972 Triennial meeting in Las Vegas, M.E. Edward Selby,
P.G.H.P. of Ohio and Grand King of the General Grand Royal Arch Chapter,
International proposed at the Grand King's meeting that General Grand Chapter
should have a unique and unified Philanthropy, one that would not conflict,
detract or duplicate existing charities.
In 1974 the R.A.R.A. was born after extensive investigation. The plans were
implemented in 1975 during M.E. Gordon Merrick's term.
CENTRAL AUDITORY PROCESSING DISORDER
A central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) is a condition in which
one has difficulty processing or interpreting auditory information when in less
than optimal listening environment. Individuals with CAPD typically have normal
hearing acuity but are unable to efficiently process or interpret speech when in
a minimally-noisy environment. The majority of children and adults that we test
at the Center for Central Auditory Research at Colorado State University can
hear soft sounds but are unable to understand or process verbal information in
an efficient manner in their daily lives. They often report that they are
confused or become flustered in busy listening environments. Settings such as a
classroom environment, the work place, and social gatherings are often very
difficult for them because of confusing verbal stimuli.
CENTRAL AUDITORY NERVOUS SYSTEM FUNCTION
Our research has led us to believe that the knowledge of the workings
of the central auditory nervous system (CANS) is critical so that the proper
diagnosis and management can be initiated. Each of the human senses have special
areas of representation in the brainstem and brain. We believe that the auditory
system provides perhaps the most important of those sensory systems because it
gives us an avenue of verbal communication.
For a number of years, the study of CAPD in children has been the
primary focus of our work at the Center for Central Auditory Research. Because
of the complexity of the CANS and the subtlety of this disorder, our work has
involved many aspects of human function. These include the study of CANS
function, speech and language ability, academic performance, emotional and
behavioral function, and motor performance.
Our research has given us insight into the academic function of many of these
children. For example, we have discovered that approximately 60% of the children
with CAPD have a history of reading difficulty. This is especially true in early
grade levels. In the early primary grades, as many as four-to-five children in a
classroom may be challenged by an "overloading" of auditory information. This
statistic alone would lead one to believe that implementing auditory structure
in the classroom would benefit many children in their early classroom
Twenty years of research has produced numerous innovations in managing children
and adults with CAPD. Inappropriate structure, incomprehensible demands, and
tasks which continually stress the CANS will lead to failure. Because of recent
developments in digital signal processing (DSP), the avenues of research into
the enhancement of speech comprehension are unfolding. Collaborative work with
electrical engineering has afforded exciting opportunities for unique and
"cutting edge" technology. Recent research at the Center has shown that speech
intelligibility can be significantly increased by "slow-down" the rate of speech
using DSP techniques.
Research is continuing in collaboration with professionals in
electrical and mechanical engineering, computer science, education, audiology,
speech and language pathology, psychology, and occupational therapy in an effort
to address the problems which plague children and adults with central auditory
processing difficulties. Because of the support of the General Grand Chapter of
the Royal Arch Masons, International, our direct management program has changed
the lives of thousands of individuals with this disorder, With the addition of
innovative technology and your continued support, we are excited about the
potential benefits of this research for many years to come.
Joan M. Burleigh, Ph.D.
Comments of Appreciation from Colorado State University
We have greatly appreciated the support we have received from the General Grand
Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International. Through your efforts, we have
learned a great deal about this special condition which impacts a significant
number of individuals in both pediatric and adult populations.
The study of central auditory function is an intriguing endeavor. A central
auditory processing disorder impacts the academic, work, and social behavior of
the child and adult. We have been fortunate to be able to continue this study
with the support of Royal Arch Research Assistance. With a multi-disciplinary
approach which combines the expertise of individuals in various disciplines, we
hope to expand our efforts in the study of this unique perceptual disorder.
Hopefully, we will be able to make an even greater contribution in the
enhancement of functioning of individuals with Central Auditory Processing
Thank you again for all your support,
Joan M. Burleigh, M.A.
Center for Central Auditory Research
HOW CAN I HELP??
If you would like to take part in helping children with Central
Auditory Processing Disorders, you can send your contributions to:
James B. Wall
P.O. Box 58070
Louisville, KY 40258
Please make your check payable to "R.A.R.A'
Certificates are designed for contributions of $25.00, $50.00, and $100.00 A
$1000.00 dollars contribution receives a very impressive with a keystone in the
center. Additional contributions of $500.00 add a small diamond to the pin.
Certificates and pins are awarded to both individual donors and donating
organizations. Donations are IRS deductible.
Other that the pin, a greater incentive might be that the research you have
funded in part might very well have brought a better life to some one who were
affected with CAPD, an important learning disability.