Pre / Post Meetings

Afternoon Sessions

Pre-Session Title/Topic Presenter/s Time Scheduled Session Description
Child First: Moving Beyond Screening and Intervention in Pursuit of Better Education for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children Mindy Hopper, Gina Oliva, Ron Stern, 2:00-5:00 pm EHDI has evolved into a nationwide system for supporting families with young deaf/hard of hearing children. There remains a critical need for a nationwide system for transitioning beyond EHDI services. The Child First Initiative is aimed at ensuring quality education and whole person development focused on fundamental yet elusive educational and human development principles that apply to all children. The presenters will propose a research-based nationwide system to transition from EHDI, which would ensure such comprehensive education for deaf/hoh children from infancy through high school.

The session will begin with the history and rationale behind the Child First Initiative. This will include description of the state of affairs in a selection of states, wherein the system allows for very little support or monitoring of deaf/hoh students' progress. An overview of policies and actions of the United States Department of Education that directly impact deaf/hoh children will also be shared. The presenters will provide front line accounts from teachers and other personnel that illustrate common real-life situations resulting from state and federal policies.

The presenters will highlight generally accepted whole child conceptual frameworks and related studies that challenge the entire field as we aim for optimal education for today and tomorrow's deaf/hoh children. Included will be research pointing to deficits in language development, which impacts all subsequent educational endeavors, several qualitative studies focused on incidental learning and on young adult retrospect, and collaborative efforts involving scholars from very diverse fields yet focused on a whole person framework. The relationship between this research and federal/state policy will be emphasized.

A multiple-strategy plan for improvement will be proposed. The audience will be engaged in group discussion on the plan itself and how EHDI professionals can be involved.
Grant Writing Workshop for EHDI Programs Jeff Hoffman 2:00-5:00 pm This workshop, for coordinators of state Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) programs, will include a review and analysis of HRSA and CDC Request For Proposals to provide funding for EHDI programs, as well as responsive applications. Participants will gain experience in crafting a program logic model, goals, SMART objectives, and an evaluation plan. The workshop will provide participants with an opportunity to determine the components of an effective needs assessment, work plan, and budget narrative. Participants should bring a recent grant application and reviewer comments, if available, to analyze in small groups and determine possible improvements.
Implementing Tele-intervention for Infants and Toddlers with Hearing Loss Diane Behl, Kristina Blaiser, Sue Olsen, Arlene Stredler-Brown 2:00 - 5:00 pm Tele-intervention services, defined as the application of telepractice to deliver early intervention services, is being adopted as a way to provide families of infants and toddlers with access to providers with needed expertise.

The purpose of this presession is to share the lessons learned from pioneering programs in the field of tele-intervention. Directors from several highly regarded early intervention programs and who are members of the learning community will present on their lessons learned to date in implementing tele-intervention. The benefits of tele-intervention in reinforcing a coaching model of service delivery will be highlighted, promoting the use of this best practice in the field of early intervention. Tools to guide implementation of tele-intervention sessions, including assessing the capacity of available technology, preparing families for this new form of intervention, and guidelines for early intervention therapists - speech/language pathologists, auditory-verbal therapists, and developmental therapists - will be presented. Ensuring that tele-intervention providers have the requisite skills in coaching families as well as management of technology will be emphasized.

The need for evaluating tele-intervention for quality improvement and sustaining this mode of service delivery will be addressed. A framework for evaluating the cost - effectiveness of tele-intervention will be presented, including tools for measuring improved family skills in promoting language, gains to child outcomes, and enhanced coaching behaviors in providers. Preliminary evaluation data will be shared, including data pertaining to family satisfaction and attitudes.

Finally, the challenges to delivering tele-intervention and the future directions for guiding its improvement will be articulated. Efforts to address reimbursement, inter-state licensure, and security will be offered.

Valuable resources, including the Tele-intervention Resource Guide will be provided along with video clips and hands-on activities.
It's All in How You Do It: Systems and Services Alignment for Children and Youth who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing Teresa Caraway, Cheryl Deconde-Johnson, Gayla Hutsell-Guinard 2:00 - 5:00 pm Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) programs have been established for 12 to 15 years in most states and territories. Nationally, nearly 98% of babies born are screened for hearing loss. Of those children identified, the large majority (85%) are referred to Part C for early intervention services. What happens once children enter early intervention services? How do early intervention outcomes impact eligibility for preschool under Part B? What kinds of special education and related services are children in need of and receiving at school? What systems exist and what are their responsibilities? How can we assure that children move from EHDI to early intervention to school and beyond successfully?
The Parenting Journey: An Intimate Look At the Decision-Making Process from the Hands & Voices Perspective Janet DesGeorges and H&V Staff - Helen Cotton-Leiser, Sara Kennedy, Lisa Kovacs, Terri Patterson, Karen Putz 2:00-5:00 pm This open pre-session will focus on supporting families as they go through the decision making process - from a Hands & Voices viewpoint. Exploring the use of words such as 'unbiased', 'choice', and other frameworks in context to opportunities that families face when raising a child who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing will be discussed. Topics covered, from honest and open points of view from families, include:
• Emerging Confidence over time - "We wake up one day feeling confident and then the next day with doubt..."
• Walk a Mile in My Shoes - " 'Choices' aren't just choices from a smorgasbord we can easily pick from. The decision making process is unique and complex for each family."
• Hindsight Happens - "As your child gets older they change in ways which throws the whole journey in a new direction."
• The Learning Curve: The 90 - 95% statistic - "Just because you are a hearing parent doesn't mean you can't make really good choices on behalf of your kids."
• The H&V Motto - 'What works for your child is what makes the choice right.' - Why this motto is still relevant in today's generation of children/families.

This session will be for all those that encounter families as they walk through the early days of discovery - and the responsibility we all share in supporting families in an authentic manner.