Below you will find a variety of resources to support early intervention professionals serving children who are visually impaired, deaf, or hard of hearing.
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Resources
- Deaf Mentor Services - From Illinois Department of Human Services, this guide to understanding Deaf Mentors as part of the Early Intervention team for families of children with hearing loss is available in English and Spanish.
- To find a Deaf Mentor, please visit Provider Connections Search, click the box for "Deaf Mentor", and search for Deaf Mentor's name, status in early intervention, and contact number.
- Developmental Therapist Hearing (DTH) Services - From Illinois Department of Human Services, this guide to understanding DTHs as part of the Early Intervention team of children with hearing loss is available in English and Spanish.
- To find a DTH, please visit Provider Connections Search, use the drop-down menu on the top to select "Credential", and then under the Credential dropbox, select "Development Therapist - Hearing Specialist".
- Interpreter for the Deaf Search:
- Parent and Infant Program from the Illinois School for the Deaf - This program supports to families so they can make informed decisions on behalf of their child who is deaf or hard of hearing.
- Service Guidelines for Young Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing- January 2006 (pdf) - Guidelines for Child and Family Connections Staff
Illinois works with EHDI NTRC (formerly known as Early Childhood Hearing Outreach [ECHO] Initiative), which is a part of the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM - pronounced "en-cham") at the Utah State University. This initiative focuses on extending the benefit of periodic hearing screening to children 0 - 3 years of age in a variety of health and education settings. The following materials may help you promote otoacoustic emissions (OAE) hearing screening:
This program works with parents and providers to ensure all babies get screened for hearing loss no later than 1 month of age; all infants who do not pass their hearing receive a diagnostic evaluation no later than 3 months of age; and all infants with a hearing loss enroll in early intervention services no later than 6 months of age. Works with parents and providers to ensure all babies get screened for hearing loss no later than 1 month of age; all infants who do not pass their hearing receive a diagnostic evaluation no later than 3 months of age; and all infants with a hearing loss enroll in early intervention services no later than 6 months of age.
The Opening Doors provides support to families of infants and toddlers who are blind or visually impaired, to assist them in making informed decisions on behalf of their child, and to provide information on their child based on observation and assessment. This program is supported by the following:
- Illinois School for the Visually Impaired (ISVI) - a residential/day school fully accredited by the North Central Association. The mission of ISVI is to serve as a statewide resource offering students with visual impairments quality educational services which will enable them to become personally productive and self-sufficient citizens. ISVI provides educational programming for children from birth to 21 years of age.
Project Reach (affiliated with the Phillip J. Rock Center and School) provides technical assistance, consultation, information, training, and family support to address the needs of children with deaf-blindness and their families. Additionally, you can visit the Project Reach Facebook page that is updated regularly.