Universal newborn screening and identification of hearing loss is an important national goal that is achievable with today's technologies. Without appropriate intervention, children with hearing impairments will fall behind their peers in achieving developmental milestones with lifelong effects. Appropriate early hearing detection and intervention (EHDI) programs should be family-centered, interdisciplinary; culturally competent, and built upon informed choice for families. Although a large amount of information related to EHDI is available in bits and pieces from various sources, obtaining and using the information for decision making represents one of the serious challenges facing families and professionals today. Since, EHDI is a relatively new field, many professionals are not prepared to adequately assist families in making important decisions about their children's future. Comprehensive, easily accessible, and culturally sensitive EHDI informational resources for families and professionals would be important new tools to facilitate successful child and family development.
The specific aims of this project are: 1) To identify and prioritize content and presentation formats for family and professional resources in EHDI; 2) To develop and test an accessible digital format for EHDI Resources; 3) To evaluate the effectiveness of EHDI Resources through systematic field testing; and 4) To disseminate and distribute EHDI Resources nationally. The hypothesis that will be tested is that after using the EHDI Resources, parents, siblings and professionals would demonstrate an increase in specific knowledge and self-efficacy related to EHDI. In addition, user satisfaction with the EHDI Resources will be evaluated. Evaluation will include formative, process, and outcome procedures. A multi-site randomized controlled study will be conducted as part of outcome evaluation. The EHDI Resources will include English and Spanish narration, incorporate a wide range of accessibility features, and be distributed in three formats, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, and via the web. When completed, this project will have successfully developed, evaluated and distributed an important new set of EHDI informational resources for families and professionals.