The Importance of Interagency Collaboration by Early Intervention Programs

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1. The Importance of Interagency Collaboration by Early Intervention Programs

3. The Importance of Interagency Collaboration by Early Intervention Programs Ruth F. Howell, Ed.D., Director Family Education/ Early Intervention Department Maryland School for the Deaf P.O. Box 894, Columbia, MD 21044-0894

4. FE / EI Snapshot Established in 1968 by the Maryland School for the Deaf (MSD) which has two campuses: Frederick and Columbia Presently serves more than 80 children between ages of birth to five

5. Primary Purpose of the Program To establish communication between deaf children and their families

6. Who Is Eligible? All deaf and hard of hearing children and their families are eligible However, the child and the family must be Maryland residents

7. Program Design Home-based and center-based Includes all 23 Maryland counties and Baltimore City

8. Services to Children Special instruction: home- and school-based Speech therapy: center-based Physical therapy Occupational therapy Ongoing assessments

9. Services to Children Hearing aid loaner bank information Cochlear implants / services for hard of hearing children Children with additional disabilities Referrals to outside resources as needed

10. Services to Parents / Extended Family Home visits: focus on individual needs of each family Instruction in American Sign Language Parent rights: IDEA, NCLB, ADA Amplification choices Child development

11. Services to Parents / Extended Family Behavior management Access to available resources Early literacy and language development

12. Parent / Family Services Parent meetings on campus Regional parent meetings Evening events Extended family: e.g., siblings, grandparents Child care providers

13. Networking with Other Agencies Local Infants and Toddlers programs Local Health Departments Public and private agencies: e.g., DSS Hospitals / audiologists / cochlear implant centers

14. Interagency Agreement Process Developed interagency agreement with Maryland Infants and Toddlers program Developed interagency agreements with each of the local infants and toddlers programs throughout Maryland

15. Characteristics of Agreements Agreements: vary by county are amended as needed define how the local ITP and MSD will work collaboratively

16. Characteristics of Agreements Examples related to: Provision of services Service coordination Reciprocity for referrals Coordinating paperwork such as IFSPs

17. Characteristics of Agreements Interagency agreements do NOT require exchange of funds. They are collaborative.

18. Advantages of Collaboration Parents take advantage of both state and local services. Cost effective Low incidence of deafness?generic early interventionists may not be familiar with deafness.

19. Cross Training for Service Providers WMEITC design Western Maryland Early Intervention Training Consortium Pool resources to bring in trainers for specific topics. Identify strengths of service providers; share resources.

20. Sharing Resources Examples include: Conducting assessments / sharing results Compensating for the lack of teachers of the deaf in some local ITPs Trading resources such as foreign interpreters or sign language interpreters Identifying appropriate service providers to meet needs of the child and family

21. Advantages of Sharing Resources Parents can access a myriad of services. Parents see deaf / hearing partnerships. Can combine resources regionally when there is a low incidence of deafness Families in nearby counties can meet and interact.

22. Advantages of Sharing Resources It reduces stress for families. Service providers develop relationships among agencies. It offers better coordination of services. It offers additional resources for families.

23. Advantages of Sharing Resources Service providers learn from each other. It creates an atmosphere of teamwork.

24. Summary Interagency collaboration is a Win-Win situation for families.

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