Title: 'Knowledge and Skills of Early Intervention Specialists: Where are the Gaps?'
Track: 7-EHDI Workforce Issues
Audience: Primary Audience: Other - EHDI Coordinators, Part C, State Agencies
Secondary Audience: Early Intervention Provider
Tertiary Audeince: University
Keyword(s): Early Intervention, Competencies, Professional Development
Learning Objectives: Identify the gaps that exist in the qualifications (knowledge and skills) for early intervention specialists for children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families.


Recent research suggests that outcomes for young children and their families are better when providers have specialized training in early intervention for children who are deaf or hard of hearing (Calderon, 2000; Kennedy, et al., 2005; Moeller, et al., 2007; Nittrouer & Burton, 2003; Yoshinaga-Itano, 2003). However, many early intervention providers lack the specialized knowledge and skills they need. Providers have a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds (Stredler Brown & Arehart, 2000) and rarely have sufficient pre-service coursework and practicum experiences to address the needs of this population (Compton, Niemeyer & Schroyer, 2001; Harrison, 2004; Jones & Ewing, 2002; Lenihan & Rice, 2005). This lack of adequate training has put an increased burden on states and territories to identify the qualifications and competencies needed and provide related professional development. A survey of states and EHDI coordinators (Tarasenko & Sass-Lehrer, 2009) revealed that although several states have early intervention credentials (or requirements) for professionals who work with children who are eligible for services under Part C of IDEA (2004), there are few states that have credentials specific for working with children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Moeller, Stredler Brown & Sass-Lehrer (2009) analyzed the recommendations of professional organizations and initiatives regarding the knowledge and skills for early intervention providers. The purpose of this presentation is to compare the current state requirements for working with children who are deaf and hard of hearing birth to three and their families with those recommended by the national professional organizations and initiatives. Gaps between professional recommendations and state requirements will be identified and recommendations provided for enhancing the qualifications of providers.
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.
Ardith Ferguson - Colorado Depatment of Human Services
     Credentials: M.Ed.
      Ardith Ferguson is the Program Director for Early Intervention Colorado, the early intervention (Part C) program at the Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Early Childhood. Prior to coming to work for the State, Ardith was the Executive Director of a county Part C program for 11 years. Previous work experiences include serving as the Family Resource Consultant for several state and federal training grants at the Speech Language and Hearing Sciences Department at the University of Colorado in Boulder and working with families of children with disabilities at the ARC in Pensacola, Florida. Ardith has a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She has two adult sons, one of whom has a diagnosis of autism. She uses her experience as a parent, as well as an early childhood professional, to help improve supports and services for Colorado families.
Kimberly tarasenko - Gallaudet University
     Credentials: Master's Student
      Kimberly Tarasenko is an M.A. candidate in the Deaf Education program at Gallaudet University specializing in Family-Centered Early Education. She is expected to graduate in May 2010. She has a B.A. from Michigan State University in Audiology and Speech Sciences and two years of graduate work in audiology and speech pathology at the University of Colorado. She also spent two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer teaching at a school for the deaf in Kenya where she established a preschool, parent education classes, home visits to families, and outreach services to local professionals and community members based out of the local school.
Karen Clark - UT Dallas Callier Center for Communication Disorders
     Credentials: M.A., CCC-A
     Other Affiliations: NCHAM
      BIO: Karen Clark is the Director of the Education Division at the Callier Center for Communication Disorders at the University of Texas at Dallas. Responsibilities include supervision of the deaf education early intervention and preschool programs for the Dallas Independent School District. Karen consults with the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM) in the area of early intervention. She has an M. A. Degree and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology and holds Texas State Certification in Education of the Deaf and Early Childhood Education.
mary pat moeller - Boys Town National Research Hospital
     Credentials: PhD
      BIO: Mary Pat Moeller, Ph.D., is the Director of the Center for Childhood Deafness at Boys Town National Research Hospital in Omaha, NE. After many years of clinical work, she obtained a Ph.D. in child language and deafness at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. She currently conducts NIH-funded research on spoken language development in infants with normal hearing and in those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Her team at BTNRH created a website (www.babyhearing.org) which is a vehicle for sharing information on the topic of newborn hearing screening and follow-up. Dr. Moeller has published and lectured internationally on topics related to early development in children with who are deaf or hard of hearing. She is co-principal investigator with Dr. Bruce Tomblin of a four-state study on Outcomes of Children with Mild to Severe Hearing Loss.