Title: 'Out of Hospital Births: Connecting with EHDI'
Track: 1-EHDI Program Enhancement
Keyword(s): homebirth, screening rates, problem solving
Learning Objectives: 1. Understand why parents would choose a homebirth. 2. Identify methods to increase hearing screening rates in the homebirth population. 2. Discuss barriers to hearing screening and possible solutions in the homebirth community, including collaboration, equipment loan, funding, and creating family friendly screening information and procedures.


Out of hospital births are slowly increasing in the United States, yet hearing screening rates lag far behind hospital rates. A parent of a deaf child born at home and a midwife, both working in their state's EHDI systems, will share their knowledge about families choosing out of hospital births and the providers who assist them. Wisconsin and Colorado have taken different paths to increasing hearing screening rates in their respective states, addressing barriers to screening, and bias in the out of hospital birth communities. Solutions to the unique issues facing families and providers will be explored and educational materials and protocols for this population will be shared.
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Sara Kennedy - Colorado Hands & Voices
     Credentials: Director
     Other Affiliations: OT
      Sara is a mom of four children, including a daughter who was born at home and later identified with a profound hearing loss. An occupational therapist by training, Sara has worked for Hands & Voices since 2000, currently serving as the Colorado chapter director and the editor for the quarterly newspaper, the Communicator, at the Headquarters level. Sara has a special interest in advocating for hearing screening in the homebirth community. She was a coauthor for the handbook Bridge to Preschool: Navigating a Successful Transition as well as articles and presentations on teaching our deaf/hh children about sex, promoting self advocacy, progressive hearing loss, and the decision process regarding cochlear implants. She finds parenting teenagers to be an even bigger challenge.
Gretchen Spicer - Wisconsin Guild of Midwives
     Credentials: Certified Professional Midwife Licensed Midwife
     Other Affiliations: Wisconsin Guild of Midwives
      CPM LM