February 26-28, 2017 • Atlanta, GA


2/27/2017  |   2:30 PM - 3:00 PM   |  Agency Collaboration: Working Together to Meet the Needs of Families   |  Hanover C

Agency Collaboration: Working Together to Meet the Needs of Families

Families new to hearing loss don’t know what EHDI means or how EHDI has changed the shape of hearing identification for children. They don’t understand the importance of screening, diagnosis, amplification and enrollment in early identification. They know they are being told this is important but the “why”, in most cases, eludes them. BEGINNINGS for Parents of Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, Inc won a grant through the Oberkotter Foundation to connect families in North Carolina during a year-long project to teach parents more about the EHDI goals, and the importance of following-through on these steps when their child has been identified with hearing loss. BEGINNINGS partnered with The CARE Project to host day retreats, to bring families together to learn more about the journey and about themselves. We invited families of newly identified children to meet with each other and with families of older children who had already seen some success. We planned these retreats to span the entire state of North Carolina to allow local families to come together. With 8 of 10 planned retreats completed, we’ve met with 69 families and 216 adults. Data collected shows an overwhelming need from parents for them to connect with other families. We’ll talk about the project, the families, the need, and our vision for ongoing family-to-family support.

  • Attendees will learn how to collaborate with local agencies
  • Attendees will learn how to accentuate collaborative agency strengths
  • Attendees will learn the importance of family-to-family support


Handout is not Available



Diane Doak (), BEGINNINGS For Parents of Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, DDoak@ncbegin.org;
Diane Doak has been with BEGINNINGS for Parents of Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing since August 1998. Prior to serving as executive director, she was the director of programs and a parent educator serving the western region of North Carolina for 15 years. She served on the board of directors for Disability Rights & Resources from 1998 to 2014, serving as president, vice president and chair of programs and advocacy. Diane has a Bachelor's Degree in Therapeutic Recreation from West Virginia University, and is a Therapeutic Recreational Specialist and a NC Infant-Toddler Specialist. Prior to joining BEGINNINGS, she was employed as developmental disabilities senior counselor, providing early intervention services for families of children birth to five with developmental delays and diagnosed disabilities, including children with hearing losses. She has 10 additional years of combined experience as a recreational therapist and an early intervention teacher while employed in Texas. Diane and her husband, Doug, have 2 adult sons, one of whom is hard-of-hearing.


Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.