About Us

What is SPARC?

An early detection, assessment, and (re)habilitation program for children with hearing loss in the Province of Saskatchewan. 

The Elks and Royal Purple Saskatchewan Pediatric Auditory Rehabilitation Center (SPARC) is located at the Saskatoon Royal University Hospital (RUH) in Ellis Hall. A close working relationship exists between SPARC, the Audiology Department at RUH, and the Hearing Aid Plan. SPARC is an active participant in the Saskatchewan Cochlear Implant Program.


The Elks' SPARC was established in 1976 under the Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan. At that time there were no rehabilitative services available to children with hearing loss under three years of age. A proposal for SPARC was submitted to the Elks' Purple Cross Deaf Detection and Development Program. The program was approved at the Grand Lodge Convention in the summer of 1976. The first Elks' Walkathon was held in the fall of 1976 to raise funds for the program. SPARC was officially opened in September 1976 at the Royal University Hospital, University of Saskatchewan.

In 1981, after a review of services, the Ministry of Health became involved in the partial funding of SPARC. The Departments's funding covered the salary of the Program Head and a portion of SPARC's travel and operating expenses. Space and secretarial services are provided by Saskatoon District Health and the Royal University Hospital.

Eight years ago SPARC became actively involved in the Saskatchewan Cochlear Implant Program and an Auditory-Verbal component was added to better meet the needs of the current pediatric population. The name of the program was changed at that time to more accurately reflect its scope of service.
SPARC has worked with more than 525 families from all over Saskatchewan since it began in 1976.

Program Objectives 

  • to assist parents in understanding and coping with their child's hearing loss
to assist parents in developing effective communication strategies with their children with hearing loss
to promote early identification of hearing loss through active involvement in education of medical students and the provision of information to other members of the medical community and public
  • to provide comprehensive diagnostic and rehabilitative services to children with hearing loss on the caseload
  • to conduct research into more effective means of working with children with hearing loss and their families, including:
    • distance education
outcome measures

    • referral processes
parent-child interaction

    • development of educational materials

    • cochlear implant rehabilitation

Success Stories

We are proud to share these inspriational stories: