Most babies who are identified as deaf or hard of hearing can learn to communicate through listening and spoken language. Many families whose baby is identified with hearing loss choose to help their child learn to listen and talk. There is a shortage of qualified providers in many regions of Washington State. The goal of this project is to advance the skill development of birth-to-three providers serving children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families, in underserved areas of WA.
Most children who are born deaf or hard of hearing can develop the ability to listen and talk. Early identification of hearing loss and the fitting of high-tech hearing devices are 2 elements that are critical for the successful development of spoken language and listening skills. As important is having qualified specialists to guide/coach a family on how to help their child develop listening and spoken language skills. There are no such specialists in many parts of the state.
This project envisions a means by which to get high quality services to families through a telehealth model of service delivery while simultaneously mentoring a local provider to help increase the local capacity of supports for families. Specificially, a Listen and Talk Listening and Spoken Language Specialist provider would remotely serve a family while mentoring the local provider to help expand their knowledge and skills to support families of children with hearing loss.
The long term effects of this project would be to increase the capacity in areas which do not currently have specialized providers to serve families of children with hearing loss. The family or families who currently need services would be served with qualified providers, while supporting the skill development of other general providers. These generalist providers would then be in a stronger position to support current and future families of children with hearing loss.