Pre / Post Meetings

Morning Sessions

Pre-Session Title/Topic Presenter/s Time Scheduled Session Description
The Philosophical Framework of Informed Choice: From Research to Practice Gwen Carr, Alys Young 8:30 am -2:00 pm (Lunch is own your own.) This session explores the principles and practice of informed choice for parents and professionals involved in multiprofessional service delivery with deaf and hard of hearing children.

Decision making has been remarked upon as an enduring experience of parenting a deaf child (Des Georges 2003) and with the advent of newborn hearing screening, choice and decision making have become part of parents' earliest experiences with their deaf child. The compressed time frame now encountered by parents from screening through to diagnostics, medical investigations and on to early intervention means that families meet an array of professionals from a variety of different disciplines and in a range of contexts, sometimes with olarized or potentially conflicting advice to give. How can professionals ensure that their practice facilitates and supports families in making informed choices for their child and for themselves?

A 2 year research and development project was funded by the English government's national Early Support Programme undertook to explore understandings and experiences of choice, including the barriers and drivers to its provision at a strategic as well as practice level. A meta-synthesis of literature on informed choice in fields outside deafness was also carried out. Results from these two elements formed the basis of the design and content of two documents: a professional handbook for the provision and practice of informed choice with families with deaf children; and a parents' guide to informed choice.

This session will focus on results from the empirical study and explore the underpinning issues pertinent to the provision and practice of informed choice derived from the study which have particular bearing on early intervention practice and service provision to families. All the principles emerging from the research at both theoretical and practical levels can be applied in culturally appropriate ways in differing service settings.
Assistive Technology and Your Child: Why It's Important Cheryl Davis 9:00 am - 12:00 pm We often think of hearing loss in terms of the issues it creates around being able to hear and understand speech, but our hearing also alerts us to other events or dangers in our environments. While adults with hearing loss complain of fatigue from being on 'high alert' (especially in novel settings), children may not yet have developed this awareness. At each developmental stage, children are adding skills that lead to independence. It is important for children to be aware of environmental sounds and the responses that are required (i.e., cause and effect). Additionally, age-appropriate independence and self reliance enhances the development of self advocacy skills needed by youth as they transition into adult settings. When youth begin to transition from IDEA regulated settings into settings covered by the ADA, the onus of responsibility shifts to their shoulders. A great deal is expected from youth with disabilities regarding self advocacy. As students become older and enter the job market, they need to be skilled consumers of assistive technology to problem solve access issues on the job. They must understand technology, be comfortable with using it, be able anticipate when it is needed, and sometimes even stand up for their right to receive it. This session will cover the meaning of communication access and the role that Hearing Assistance Technology (i.e., assistive listening technology, alerting and signaling devices, and telecommunications) plays. The audience will have an opportunity to see and try out different devices, and resources for obtaining equipment will be shared.
The CARE Project: Adjustment Counseling Tools for Parents and Professionals Johnnie Sexton 9:00 am - 12:00 pm Undeniably, life's journey is full of challenges. Along with such hurdles, different emotions are experienced. An individual facing hearing challenges needs to rely on a strong support system within the family and community, including the professionals with whom they work. CARE provides a unique opportunity to visit with 8 families through documentary film segments and to observe the different emotional stages of grief associated with challenges.

There are 8 diverse perspectives presented:
1. Adult hearing woman with mother who is deaf,
2. Adult hearing male with parents who are deaf/sibling who is deaf,
3. Adult male who is hard of hearing and wears hearing aids,
4. Adult female who is culturally deaf,
5. Mother of adult female who is deaf/blind,
6. Professional who works with people who are deaf and hard of hearing,
7. Adult male who has a cochlear implant, and
8. Multi-generational family (Grandmother, mother and father with a son who is hard of hearing).

Participants engage in active listening as each segment is viewed and utilize an analysis grid to identify the emotions expressed by the various family members. At the conclusion of the session, participants share impressions on emotions demonstrated.

The desired outcome of The CARE Project is as follows:
1. To create a sense of community
2. To provide basic information on challenges faced
3. To offer solutions
4. To open doors for individuals to process grief
5. To move people forward
6. To facilitate acceptance of hearing loss
7. To learn to advocate for a fulfilling life
Family-Centered Early Intervention: Preparing Competent Professionals Todd Houston, Susan Lenihan, Jack Roush, Marilyn Sass-Lehrer, Arlene Stredler-Brown, Kathryn Wilson 9:00 am - 12:00 pm Infants and toddlers who are identified as deaf/hard of hearing are eligible to receive early intervention services under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These services are provided by a team of professionals including audiologists, early childhood special educators, speech-language pathologists and teachers of the deaf. State early intervention programs are required to provide personnel development for the preparation of early intervention providers who are fully and appropriately qualified to provide early intervention services. While the evidence from research on early intervention clearly supports a family-centered approach, the professional preparation of providers is varied in the depth of knowledge and skills needed to become competent in family-centered early intervention for children who are deaf/hard of hearing. This session is designed for stakeholders in early intervention for infants and toddlers who are deaf/hard of hearing including university faculty in audiology, deaf education, early childhood special education and speech-language pathology, Part C personnel, EHDI Coordinators, parents and others interested in the professional preparation of early intervention service providers in both pre-service and in-service education programs.

This session will engage participants in addressing essential topics and issues in family-centered intervention including current trends, the knowledge and skills needed by early interventionists, models of professional preparation and the roles of the team members from various professional disciplines. The session will include a panel of professionals addressing innovative and promising practices to improve the quality of professionals. Participants will discuss issues and challenges in increasing the number of highly qualified service providers and will develop plans to impact professional preparation.
Serving Families of Infants and Toddlers with Mild or Unilateral Hearing Loss: Employing Effective Medical, Audiologic and Developmental Intervention Strategies Melody Harrison, Anne Marie Tharpe 9:00 am - 12:00 pm Children with mild or unilateral hearing loss are at risk of academic and speech-language deficits. This session will describe what we know about these children and focus on common intervention strategies.