Engaging Parents, Developing Leaders: A Self-Study and Plan from the Annie E. Casey Foundation: Presentation at the annual Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) meeting: March 18-20, 2018 in Denver, CO


The greatest challenge for children who are deaf or hard of hearing is the ability to acquire age appropriate language to communicate. As services and technology continue to improve, we see greater potential for and improved outcomes in a child’s ability to overcome this challenge. When JCIH recommendations of 1-3-6 are followed that include access to quality intervention, children with hearing loss are often caught up to their hearing peers in speech and language by the age of 3. Current research (Ching et al, 2015; Wang, 2017) indicates 4 factors that impact this outcome are 1) age of amplification, 2) Cognition 3) maternal education and 4) socioeconomic status. Therefore; children with hearing loss born into poverty are at an even greater disadvantage to catching up to their peers in order to enter kindergarten ready to learn. Studies have indicated that children from low socioeconomic homes hear 30 million words less than their peers by the age of 3 directly impacting their vocabulary, which is the number one predictor of reading and academic success. To improve parent education and sensitivity, The Children’s Cochlear Implant Center at UNC participated in a yearlong self-study using a tool developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, “Engaging Parents, Developing Leaders”. This 25 minute presentation shared findings from the Engaging Parents, Developing Leaders Task Force. We came up with a comprehensive plan for improvement in each of the four domains: Building a Culture of Respect, Inclusion and Equity; Coaching Parents on Competence and Confidence; Listening to and Forming Partnerships with Parents; and Partnering with Other Organizations to Serve the Whole Family. We shared our results at this national meeting in order to hopefully empower other EHDI programs to further engage the families they work with by sharing tools and resources for success. See the attached photos to see our amazing task force as well as some of our ideas moving us forward to having even more engaged parents and leaders!


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