Title: 'Delivery of Unbiased Information about Intervention Options: An Independent Coordination Model'
Track: 1-EHDI Program Enhancement
Audience: Primary Audience: Other - Agencies/Providers Responsible for Service Coordination
Secondary Audience: Early Intervention Provider
Tertiary Audeince: Part C Agency/Program
Keyword(s): Service Coordination, Unbiased, Options, Family
Learning Objectives: 1) identify concerns when relying on initial coordination of services provided through an intervention program or agency associated with a particular communication modality. 2) describe the rationale for providing initial service coordination through an independent agency that does not offer early intervention services for families impacted by hearing loss. 3) List 3 action steps to ensure that families in their local community have accurate, unbiased information about communication options/early intervention programs.


The Washington State Department of Health document Best Practice Guidelines in Early Intervention for Children with Hearing Loss highlights that “…during the early period of information gathering and decision making, families are assisted by a person who can present and discuss unbiased information about communication options, respects family choices, and allows parents to make an informed final decision…” Service coordination is key to this process and Washington State highlights the need for Family Resources Coordinators (FRC) to have specialized training in effective practices for infants/toddlers who are deaf/hard of hearing, the need for families to receive information about communication options, and the need for support in exploring and choosing a communication option. Following reflection on practices and the gathering of input from families in King County, concerns were raised about service coordination that was accessed through agencies providing early intervention services to families impacted by hearing loss. An “Independent FRC Model” was created to assist the county in fulfilling the guidelines set forth in the Best Practice statements. Participants in this session will review the process of analyzing the impact of agency-linked coordination services, learn about family perspectives, review the process of developing an independent model and identify the benefits of providing independent service coordination, especially at the initial stages of early intervention. Action steps will be identified to ensure that agencies take measures to provide equal access to balanced information about communication options. We believe that elements of the independent model can be applied to improve existing systems and support families as they make decisions about early intervention.
Presentation(s): Not Available
Handouts: Not Available
Kim Hamren - Listen and Talk
     Credentials: M.Ed., CED, LSLS Cert. AVT
      Kim Hamren, M.Ed., CED, LSLS Cert. AVT, has worked at Listen and Talk since 1997. She is the Early Intervention Coordinator and also provides early intervention services. Over the years Kim has served as a preschool teacher, Auditory-Verbal Therapist, and Preschool Coordinator. She received her Teacher of the Deaf certification and her B.S. in Education from the University of Nebraska-Omaha and her M.Ed in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She became a LSLS Cert. AVT in 2003. Previously, Kim taught preschool and provided early intervention at the Omaha Hearing School. She worked as a Home-Based Special Educator for Birth-3 services with the Lincoln Public School District where she worked with families whose children had a variety of special challenges.
Maura Berndsen - Listen and Talk
     Credentials: MA, CED, LSLS Cert. AVT
     Other Affiliations: OPTION Schools, Past President
      BIO: Maura has worked at Listen and Talk since 1996 after starting her career in listening and spoken language settings in 1990. She holds her BA in Deaf Education from Fontbonne University and her MA in Early Childhood Education from the University of Texas, San Antonio. Maura is also a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist- Certified Auditory-Verbal Therapist. As Educational Director she has provided early intervention, Auditory-Verbal Therapy, and educational consultations. Maura has presented and contributed to publications on the topics of listening and spoken language approaches and the development of listening and spoken language in children with all degrees of hearing loss.