The Elks' Saskatchewan Pediatric Auditory Rehabilitation Center (SPARC) was established in 1976 under the Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan. At that time there were no rehabilitative services aavailable 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 Department 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.