Title: 'Birth to Three: A New Paradigm for a Diverse Population'
Track: 3-Early Intervention and Beyond
Audience: Primary Audience: Early Intervention Provider
Secondary Audience: Advocacy Group
Tertiary Audeince: Part C Agency/Program
Keyword(s): early intervention, diverse population, deaf/hearing partnership
Learning Objectives: learn effective strategies for bridging cultural and ideological gaps in supporting deaf children and their families, be better prepared to work with culturally, linguistically and economically, and ability-diverse young children and their families.


This presentation is to provide an overview of the birth to three population and facilitate discussion on how a new paradigm that includes deaf and hearing professionals from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds and perspectives may meet this challenge. The population of newborns with hearing differences has a variety of levels of hearing and is increasingly culturally, linguistically and economically, and ability-diverse. Young children are developing skills in more than one language using a range of tools to enhance their visual and auditory access. This population demands a set of skills that goes beyond any one individual or discipline. Researchers have shown that both young children and families benefit from timely, comprehensive early intervention provided by qualified specialists (Calderon, 2000; Kennedy, et al., 2005; Moeller, 2000; Moeller, et al. 2007; Yoshinaga-Itano, 2003). While there are no national or professional standards for what it means to be “highly qualified” to work with this population, there is consensus building that young children and families benefit from specialists from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds and that training of early intervention/education specialists should include interdisciplinary coursework and experiences (ASHA, 2008; Compton, Niemeyer, & Shroyer, 2001; JCIH, 2007; Marge & Marge, 2005). Research shows that the presence of deaf/hard of hearing adults in the early years benefits both children and their families (Hintermair, 2000; & Watkins, Pittman, & Walden, 1998). The involvement of deaf adults from hearing screening through early educational experiences provides hearing professionals and families with an understanding of the life experiences of deaf and hard of hearing people. Traditional models for addressing this population are no longer adequate given the diversity in communication, language, culture, technology and learning needs. This “new” paradigm will focus on how we can change perspectives about what it means to be deaf in the 21st century.
Presentation(s): Not Available
Handouts: Not Available
Marilyn Sass-Lehrer - Gallaudet University
     Credentials: Ph.D.
      Marilyn Sass-Lehrer is Professor Emerita at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, USA. She received a master’s degree in Deaf Education from New York University and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in Early Childhood Education and Curriculum and Instruction. She is the co-director of the Gallaudet University Graduate Interdisciplinary Certificate Program: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infants, Toddlers and Their Families. She is editor of Early Intervention for Deaf and Hard-of- Hearing Infants, Toddlers and their Families: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (2016), co-author of Parents and their Deaf Children: The Early Years (2003), and co-editor of The Young Deaf or Hard of Hearing Child: A Family-Centered Approach to Early Education (2003). Dr. Sass-Lehrer has been actively involved in national and international efforts to support professional development and learning for early intervention providers and promote quality early education and family involvement.
Beth Benedict - Gallaudet University
     Credentials: Ph.D.
     Other Affiliations: American Society for Deaf Children
      Beth S. Benedict, Ph.D., a Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C., has focused on family involvement in schools with deaf and hard of hearing children, early childhood education, advocacy, early communication, and partnerships between deaf and hearing professionals and early intervention programs and services. Her work has been shared in numerous publications and through her work as a national and international presenter. Dr. Benedict is very involved in different organizations and boards. She is the Chair of the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing, President of the American Society of Deaf Children, on the Council of Education of the Deaf, the Maryland Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Advisory Council and actively involved in a variety of other EHDI initiatives.
Julie Mitchiner - Gallaudet University
     Credentials: Ph.D
      Julie Mitchiner, Ph.D is an assistant professor in the Education Department at Gallaudet University with a primary focus on Early Childhood Education. She previously taught at Kendall Demonstration Elementary School at the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center in their bilingual ASL/English Early Childhood Program. Julie completed her Ph.D in Education at George Mason University with a specialization in Early Childhood Education and a secondary concentration in multicultural/multilingual education. Her dissertation focused on exploring the beliefs of deaf families who have young children with cochlear implants related to language development in ASL and English.