Title: 'Improving the Outcomes for Children Living in Poverty'
Track: 9-Policy, Advocacy, and Legislative Issues
Audience: Primary Audience: Early Intervention Provider
Secondary Audience: Advocacy Group
Tertiary Audeince: Part C Agency/Program
Keyword(s): advocacy, poverty, early intervention strategies
Learning Objectives: 1. Identify current poverty and healthcare data that impact children, particularly children who are deaf. 2. Identify approaches and strategies that are effective in promoting more positive outcomes. 3. Describe the advocacy role of professionals in early intervention. 4. Analyze case studies demonstrating positive outcomes for children who are deaf living in poverty. 5. Access resources to support children and families living in poverty.


Increasing numbers of children are growing up in poverty in both urban and rural settings. Often these children lack access to quality educational and health services. While poverty has a negative impact on the development of all children, for children who are deaf/hard of hearing and their families the risk is even greater. Poverty impacts not only the family's ability to participate in the EHDI system, but also the ways in which service providers interact with children and families. Many early interventionists have little knowledge of, or experience with, poverty and they often lack the skills needed to provide services that will best meet the needs of children and families living in poverty. Early interventionists need to develop the knowledge and skills to provide services that will change the odds for these children. This session will include current data on poverty, the advocacy role of early interventionists, the importance of cultural competence and strategies and approaches that are effective. Participants will analyze case studies and learn about resources for improving service provision to families living in poverty.
Presentation(s): Not Available
Handouts: Not Available
Susan Lenihan - Fontbonne University
     Credentials: Ph.D. Professor and Director of Deaf Education
      Susan Lenihan is a professor and director of the deaf education program at Fontbonne University in St. Louis, MO. The program prepares teachers, speech-language pathologists and early interventionists for careers in deaf education. Her professional interests include early intervention, cochlear implants, the role of the family in communication development, the impact of poverty on child development and literacy.
Gale Rice - Fontbonne University
     Credentials: Ph.D., CCC-SLP Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication Disorders and Deaf Education
      Gale B. Rice, Ph.D.,CCC-SLP is Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication Disorders & Deaf Education at Fontbonne University. Her clinical and research interests include language and literacy, craniofacial anomalies, and assistive technology
Jenna Voss - Central Institute for the Deaf
      Jenna Voss serves as the Nursery Class Administrator and Parent Educator in the Joanne Parrish Knight Family Center at Central Institute for the Deaf. She received degrees in Deaf Education (B.A.) and Early Intervention in Deaf Education (M.A.) from Fontbonne University. Jenna is a certified LSLS AVEd. and holds teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing and early childhood/special education certifications. These credentials allow her to provide services to families of children with hearing impairment ages birth through three in both in Missouri and Illinois. She also teaches graduate students in Deaf Education and Speech-Language Pathology as a part-time faculty member at Fontbonne Univeristy.