|August, 2010 Early Childhood Hearing Outreach (ECHO) Initiative|
|Develop Your Program's Capacity to Include Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
For some Early Head Start (EHS) programs, OAE hearing
screening has resulted in the referral of a child to a pediatric audiologist
with the ultimate identification of permanent hearing loss. Parents of a child who is identified as deaf or hard of hearing may want their child to continue to attend an EHS
program along with their typically developing peers.
To make this
possible, EHS Grantees must evaluate their capacity to fully and effectively serve
these children. Programs
that have been particularly successful at including children who are deaf or
hard of hearing attribute their success to several key elements:
The Edward C. Mazique Parent Child Center in Washington DC fully includes children who are deaf or hard of hearing with the help of several supportive specialists. Here, one young child who has a confirmed hearing loss (left) is having fun helping one of his peers receive an OAE screening.
- Creating a welcoming, supportive environment
among staff, parents and children for all children with diverse abilities,
needs and backgrounds.
- Establishing and maintaining relationships with
their State Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI)/Newborn Hearing
Screening program that can help connect them with key resources for serving
young children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- Collaborating with the local Part C/Early
Intervention program and other local specialists such as pediatric
audiologists, speech therapists, and teachers of the deaf.
Once you are confident that you have successfully established
up-to-date hearing screening and follow-up practices using OAE technology, the
next step is to determine what you need to do to fully and effectively include
a child who may be identified as deaf or hard of hearing. To connect with your State EHDI program, CLICK HERE
where you can tap into
valuable resources pertaining to your screening and follow-up practices.
The EHDI Coordinator for the District of Columbia is participating in training EHS staff while providing information about available resources. What is your capacity to effectively include children who are deaf or hard of hearing in your program?
It is helpful to carefully evaluate what you can do to create an even more welcoming, supportive environment
for children with diverse abilities, needs and backgrounds, particularly
children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Email us by clicking here
to tell us about steps you have taken to develop
your capacity to fully include children who are deaf or hard of hearing in your