The Importance of Interagency Collaboration by Early Intervention Programs

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The Importance of Interagency Collaboration by Early Intervention Programs. February 2, 2006 Ruth F. Howell, Ed.D. Maryland School for the Deaf Columbia, Maryland. Faculty Disclosure Information.
The Importance of Interagency Collaboration by Early Intervention Programs

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The Importance ofInteragency Collaborationby Early Intervention Programs

February 2, 2006

Ruth F. Howell, Ed.D.

Maryland School for the Deaf

Columbia, Maryland

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Faculty Disclosure Information

In the past 12 months, I have not had a significant financial interest or other relationship with the manufacturer(s) of the product(s) or provider(s) of the service(s) that will be discussed in my presentation.

This presentation will (not) include discussion of pharmaceuticals or devices that have not been approved by the FDA or if you will be discussing unapproved or “off-label” uses of pharmaceuticals or devices.

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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

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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

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Primary Purpose ofthe Program

  • To establish communication between deaf children and their families

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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

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Program Design

  • Home-based and center-based

  • Includes all 23 Maryland counties and Baltimore City

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Services to Children

  • Special instruction: home- and school-based

  • Speech therapy: center-based

  • Physical therapy

  • Occupational therapy

  • Ongoing assessments

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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

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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

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Services to Parents /Extended Family

  • Behavior management

  • Access to available resources

  • Early literacy and language development

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Parent / Family Services

  • Parent meetings on campus

  • Regional parent meetings

  • Evening events

  • Extended family: e.g., siblings, grandparents

  • Child care providers

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Networking with Other Agencies

  • Local Infants and Toddlers programs

  • Local Health Departments

  • Public and private agencies: e.g., DSS

  • Hospitals / audiologists / cochlear implant centers

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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

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Characteristics of Agreements

  • Agreements:

    • vary by county

    • are amended as needed

    • define how the local ITP and MSD will work collaboratively

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Characteristics of Agreements

  • Examples related to:

    • Provision of services

    • Service coordination

    • Reciprocity for referrals

    • Coordinating paperwork such as IFSPs

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Characteristics of Agreements

  • Interagency agreements do NOT require exchange of funds. They are collaborative.

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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.

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Cross Trainingfor 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.

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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

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Advantages ofSharing 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.

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Advantages ofSharing Resources

  • It reduces stress for families.

  • Service providers develop relationships among agencies.

  • It offers better coordination of services.

  • It offers additional resources for families.

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Advantages ofSharing Resources

  • Service providers learn from each other.

  • It creates an atmosphere of teamwork.

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Interagency collaboration is a


situation for families.

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