Title: 'Importance of breaking barriers between professionals and non-English speaking families'
Track: 8-Program Evaluation and Quality Assurance
Audience: Primary Audience: Early Intervention Provider
Secondary Audience: Medical Provider
Tertiary Audeince: Audiologist
Keyword(s): Personal family stories and discussion
Learning Objectives: will help other families going through the “journey” as well as professionals working or looking forward to work with


Understanding and appreciating intercultural differences ultimately promotes clearer communication, breaks down barriers, builds trust, strengthens relationships, opens horizons and gives tangible results when considering religion, belief, culture, values, and ethics. For intercultural communication to really work, people need to wonder why they hold those ideas or beliefs. In doing so, and even to openly discuss the others, is to overcome the initial barrier for intercultural communication. In this session we will share our personal stories from where we started and where we are now. Why one of us chose to go the oral route and why the other chose total communication for their children, as well of the personal experience of working with professionals when our spouse or ourselves are non-English speaking. In Addition breaking cross cultural stereotypes, Steps to an effective intercultural communication will also be discussed. We’ll talk about Empathy, Discouraging the herd mentality, communication, to Sign? Not to Sign? Oral? Both? We hope this information will help other families going through the “journey” as well as professionals working or looking forward to work with non-English speaking families
Presentation(s): Not Available
Handouts: Not Available
Maria Rodriguez - Colorado Families for Hands & Voices
     Credentials: .
      I was born in Mexico but raised in Denver, Colorado since I was 9 years old. I am married and my spouse is non-English speaking.We have a 6yr old daughter who has a bilateral profound hearing loss and has a cochlear implant. We currently live in Denver,Colorado where I work as a Spanish Speaking Parent Guide for Hand & Voices of Colorado.
Maria Teresa Hernandez - Illinois Hands & Voices
     Credentials: Illinois Hands & Voices Guide By Your Side Parent Guide, Parent of a child with hearing loss
      Maria is a four year graduate in Business Administration from her native city Veracruz, Mexico. She moved to Chicago 12 years ago, where she met her husband and they have been married for 11 years. They have a 5 year old child who has moderate to severe hearing loss. Maria speaks and writes Spanish fluently and is active in her efforts as an advocate for her child and Latino families. She is a Parent Guide with the Illinois Guide by Your Side program. She has participated in statewide Illinois parent workgroups, presented at State and National conferences and enjoys being actively involved at her son’s school as the Parent Association Chair.