Title: 'Reaching Multicultural and Diverse Language Populations with the EHDI Message'
Track: 1-EHDI Program Enhancement
Audience: Primary Audience: State Health Department
Secondary Audience: Part C Agency/Program
Tertiary Audeince: Family of a child with hearing loss
Keyword(s): multicultural, diverse language, raising awareness, increase child-find, next steps
Learning Objectives: 1) Describe the need for improved awareness of hearing loss detection, diagnosis and intervention in the multicultural/diverse language population 2) Describe the process undertaken to develop key messages, interview questions, roundtable questions, and identify appropriate expert speakers from the different populations 3) Describe the resulting 60-minute program on childhood hearing loss and deafness produced for Somali, Spanish, Hmong and English/ASL populations


Like most states, Minnesota has an increasing population of families who are from non-English speaking countries. As lost to follow up gaps are addressed it is increasingly apparent that multicultural families have a higher lost to follow up rate than the general English-speaking population. How can we reach these families? How can we address unique cultural issues related to hearing loss? In Minnesota, the Emergency & Community Health Outreach (ECHO) collaborative produces television shows on various health and emergency topics specifically directed at limited-English proficient (LEP) populations that are broadcast on public and cable TV channels for two months and then available on the ECHO website. The key messages selected for these programs were: 1) act now: it is important to identify hearing loss as early as possible 2) the sooner families help their child with permanent hearing loss, the less impact the hearing loss will have on the child’s development, and 3) help is available. The first ½ hour of the program has a speaker or leader from the cultural community answering factual questions. The second ½ hour consists of a roundtable discussion with a representative from each culture, including a Deaf individual using ASL, in which family stories about follow up from hearing loss diagnosis, taking the step to hearing aid fitting, accessing intervention services and communication choices are discussed. The programs will be aired on Sundays in April and Saturdays in May, 2010 with a different language being broadcast weekly. This project was an interagency collaboration between the Departments of Health, Education, Human Services (Deaf and Hard of Hearing Service Centers) and the Commission for Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans. It is hoped that this successful outreach project will inspire other states, including sharing the internet link to these programs with their multicultural communities.
Presentation(s): Not Available
Handouts: Not Available
Curt Leitz - MN Hands & Voices
     Credentials: parent guide
      Curt Leitz is the father of a girl whose hearing loss was identified at age two; since then, he and his family have navigated support systems in three different states. Since 2007 he has worked as the Northeast Minnesota Parent Guide for Minnesota Hands and Voices, where his focus is direct parent-to-parent support and one of his keen interests is engaging fathers in their children’s support.
Candace Lindow-Davies - Hands & Voices Headquarters
     Credentials: President, Hands & Voices Headquarters
      Candace Lindow-Davies, Minnesota Hands & Voices, is the mother of a son who is profoundly deaf, and for the past eight plus years, developed and coordinated services for MN Hands & Voices/Guide By Your Side at Lifetrack Resources in Minnesota . For seven years, Candace has also served as a parent consultant for the MN Dept. of Health's Newborn Hearing Screening Program. She also chairs the MN Dept. of Health's Newborn Hearing Screening Advisory Committee, representing parents of children who are deaf and hard of hearing.
Nicole Brown - Minnesota Dept of Health
     Credentials: MSN, PHN, CPNP
     Other Affiliations: Public Member, Board of Governors American Board of Audiology
      BIO: Nicole Brown is a certified pediatric nurse practitioner and has worked in Minnesota’s Maternal and Child Health/Public Health field for over 17 years at both the state and local level. She is Minnesota’s EHDI Coordinator responsible to provide long-range planning and direction for the development, implementation, and evaluation of a statewide EHDI system for children once they are identified with hearing loss. Nicole served as the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners’ liaison to the American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Improving the Effectiveness of Newborn Hearing Screening, Diagnosis, and Intervention. She works with NCHAM as Quality Improvement Advisor and is the parent of two children who are deaf.