Characterizing Deaf Children’s Early Communication Services: An Online Parent Survey
Language deprivation among deaf children is a serious issue, leading the U.S. government to establish the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program. In spite of these efforts, Gallaudet’s most recent survey of deaf children and youth from 2013 reports that almost 7,000 deaf children had not been identified via newborn hearing screening. This suggests that EHDI’s screening and follow-up reports do not capture the current number of children requiring and receiving early intervention services. To understand this better, the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM) surveyed families of deaf or hard of hearing children to better understand the early intervention experiences that they receive. However, this data was only a snapshot of parent perceptions of the early intervention system and only surveyed families from 10 states. Therefore, only limited or outdated data exists; a more current and comprehensive data set is needed. This survey will elicit parent/guardian ratings of early intervention experiences and bring into focus unnoticed gaps in the early identification system across the United States. Upon survey completion, this data will be available for service providers and researchers as a valuable resource for understanding the scope of current Early Intervention needs.