February 26-28, 2017 • Atlanta, GA


2/28/2017  |   11:30 AM - 12:00 PM   |  Dissecting a Home Visit: Contributions of Deaf Mentors   |  Hanover D

Dissecting a Home Visit: Contributions of Deaf Mentors

In recent years, the JCIH (2013) and EHDI have embraced the role of the Deaf mentor as a part of the team that provides support and information (Crace & Rems-Smario, 2016) to families of newly identified babies with different levels of hearing. Deaf mentors are in a “unique position” to work with families because of their own lived experiences and can offer culturally created solutions for effective living (Holcomb, 2012). With this type of support, it is assumed that the stress that some families may experience can be reduced (Hintermair, 2000). However, the role of the Deaf mentor means many different things depending on where the family lives and what services are available through their early intervention program. This presentation will evaluate the various types of mentorship that are available to families, share interviews with both parents and Deaf mentors as to the key components of home visits, and provide perspectives from around the world.

  • understand the role of Deaf mentors in the home visit
  • evaluate the components of the family’s support system
  • provide a global perspective on early intervention


Handout is not Available



Michele Berke (), California School for the Deaf, mberke@csdf-cde.ca.gov;
Michele Berke has worked for over 30 years in programs within the Deaf community. Her experience includes management of a rest home for deaf and deaf-blind senior citizens, directing Gallaudet University's western regional office, coordinating a US Department of Education funded project to develop an ASL Assessment tool, and teaching college-level Linguistics of ASL courses. Berke currently works at the California School for the Deaf in Fremont as the Student Outcomes Specialist where she is responsible for assessment and data analysis. Her doctoral studies in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences from the University of Colorado in Boulder focused on exploring the shared reading practices of Deaf and hearing mothers and their pre-school children.


Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.

Elaine Gale (), Hunter College, egale@cuny.hunter.edu;
As a deaf individual with deaf parents, Elaine Gale experienced the importance of growing up with deaf role models. As a former sign language mentor for the Colorado Home Intervention Program (CHIP), she learned first-hand the effectiveness of providing families who have children identified as deaf or hard of hearing with support to help children develop to their full potential. Her doctoral studies in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences from the University of Colorado at Boulder focused on exploring initiation, joint attention, and language in mother-child interactions with toddlers who are deaf. Since 2002, Gale has been coordinating the Hunter College Deaf and Hard of Hearing teacher preparatory program. Her current research includes deaf and hard of hearing individuals in leadership roles working with families and their young children who are deaf and hard of hearing.


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Nonfinancial -