The day parents learn that their child is deaf or hard of hearing is a day they will probably never forget. It is also the beginning of a journey of discovery. They are not alone in this journey. There are parents and professionals who will support them and share experiences and insights along the way.
The parents’ job is to make decisions that are right for their child and family. They are in the best position to advocate for their child. Services and the professionals who provide them will change throughout the child’s life, but the parents will remain the constant in his/her life.
In 2014, 1,369 babies did not pass the newborn hearing screening before leaving the hospital. 50% of those babies (689) did not go back for another test to determine if their baby had any hearing loss. In response, through a collaborative agreement with the Virginia Department of Health’s Early Hearing Detection & Intervention Program (called EHDI), the Center for Family Involvement trained parents as 1-3-6 Family Educators. 1-3-6 Family Educators visit birthing hospital newborn screening teams and audiology clinics across Virginia to talk about their hearing screening practices and how to get infants back for another test of their hearing. Below is a postcard the 1-3-6 Family Educators developed for parents to remind them about the importance of following up on their baby’s hearing test.
To get parent support,learn more about the 1-3-6 Family Educator Program, or find resources for children who are deaf/hard of hearing, please call or email Irene Schmalz at (877) 567-1122 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view a recent presentation on Virginia’s collaboration with the Virginia Department of Health on the 1-3-6 Family Educator Program, click here:
EHDI 2017 Conference Presentation