Title: 'The Philosophical Framework of Informed Choice: From Research to Practice'
Track: -
Keyword(s): Informed Choice; principles and practice
Learning Objectives:
  1. To explore and understand the key underpinning issues of informed choice.
  2. To understand how the theoretical issues of informed choices can inform service delivery at a practice level.
  3. To examine how the attitudes and values of individual practitioners affect the enactment of informed choice in their early intervention practice.


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 polarised 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.
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Alys Young - POC,Primary Presenter,Co-Presenter
SORD, The University of Manchester
     Credentials: Alys Young is Professor of Social Work Education and Research at the University of Manchester. She has previously worked as a social worker with d/Deaf people.
      Alys Young PhD, MSc (Oxon.), MA (Cantab.), CQSW, is Professor of Social Work and Director of the Social Research with Deaf People programme at the University of Manchester, UK. She is also Visiting Professor at the Centre for Deaf Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. She has an international reputation for her research work with families with deaf children, multi-professional early intervention services and the provision of health and social care services in signed languages. Her book (with B. Temple) on Social Science Research and d/Deaf people is published by Oxford, in 2013.

Financial - Receives Intellectual property rights,Grants for Independent contractor from National Deaf Children's Society, UK.  

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.

Financial -

Nonfinancial -
Gwen Carr - POC,Primary Presenter,Co-Presenter
Newborn Hearing Screening Programme
     Credentials: Deputy Director of the England NHS Newborn Hearing Screening Programme and Hon. Senior Research Associate at the University College London Ear Institute.
      Gwen is Deputy Director of the England NHS Newborn Hearing Screening Programme and Hon. Senior Research Associate at University College London Ear Institute. Gwen’s early career was as a qualified teacher of the deaf specialising in the development of language and communication and in working with very young deaf children and their families. She spent 10 years as Head of Sensory Support Services in a Metropolitan Authority, moving on to the National Deaf Children’s Society in 2002 as Director of UK Services before joining the NHS in 2006. Gwen co-led the UK government funded research and development study ‘Informed Choice, Families and Deaf Children’ leading to the production of national guidance for professionals and a comprehensive handbook for parents. In addition to Informed Choice, her particular interests are in multi-professional teamwork and family support, child and family outcomes and sharing the news of the diagnosis of deafness following newborn hearing screening.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.