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Wisconsin’s Deaf Mentor Program:. Ensuring Longevity and Sustainability. Overview of Today’s Presentation. History and Background of the DMP More about DMP in Wisconsin Challenges to the Program Ensuring Success and Sustainability – Changes to the Program.

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Wisconsin’s Deaf Mentor Program:


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    1. Wisconsin’s Deaf Mentor Program: Ensuring Longevity and Sustainability

    2. Overview of Today’s Presentation • History and Background of the DMP • More about DMP in Wisconsin • Challenges to the Program • Ensuring Success and Sustainability – Changes to the Program

    3. History and Background of Wisconsin’s DMP DMP was established in 1999…. • Original Vision/Purpose • Community involvement • Program Funding • Program Leadership • Program design

    4. History and Background of Wisconsin’s DMP • Evolution since 1999 • Shifts in Overseeing agency • Fiscal Agent Changes • Mentor Hiring • Mentor Training • Fun Days • Paperwork

    5. Role of the Deaf Mentor in Wisconsin • As a native user of the language • As an adult role model • As a support to families • As a connect to the Deaf Community

    6. As native users of ASL…

    7. As Role Models…

    8. As Role Models (comments from a “graduate” of DMP)

    9. As a support to families….

    10. Keeping Up to Date…. • Annual Trainings are provided • Determining content of Trainings • Topics and Speakers • Reading to Your Deaf Child • Using Digital Materials • Handshapes/Classifiers • Stages of ASL Development • Home Visit Routines • Deaf Identity • Communication Considerations • Communication Rubrics

    11. Ensuring Sustainability…. Changes over the years are in response to program challenges • Budget Challenges • Need to reimburse for all travel and mileage • Budget has not increased in past five years • NEW: Good news! • Gaps in Services • Serving children who are deaf-blind • Serving children who are over 6 years of age • Serving families in remote areas of Wisconsin • Family Commitment • Service is free and ongoing; is it valued? • Conflicting messages from professional community

    12. Ensuring SustainabilityIncorporating Technology • Benefits • Saves money • Saves travel time • Easier scheduling • Challenges • Building connection and rapport with families • Rural families with limited internet access • Deaf Mentor training to teach via technology

    13. Ensuring Sustainability Program Changes - Incorporating Technology DMP now has two distinct parts • Deaf Mentor Program First Step (DMPFS) • First step towards learning sign language • 16 week vocabulary instruction, using Brava family curriculum, via technology • Modeled after TSD Family Signs Program • Document sessions using DMPFS Weekly Log Sheet • Also offered to the child’s early childhood teachers who would also like sign language instruction

    14. Ensuring Sustainability Program Changes - Incorporating Technology DMP now has two distinct parts • Deaf Mentor Program (DMP) • Teaches ASL through an immersion approach, modeling interactions with the child • Modeled after the SKI-HI Deaf Mentor Program, and uses the SKI-HI curriculum • For families committed to learning sign language • Services provides in-home and via technology for two years • Document home visits using DMP Home Visit Log Sheet, includes 3 goals for 3 months

    15. Ensuring Sustainability Meeting the needs of families with children who are deaf-blind • Funding – DMP and WDBTAP • Program Adaptations • Ages served (Birth – 21) • Continuation for older children dependent on progress made • Evaluation Tool: Communication Matrix • Specialized Training of Deaf Mentors

    16. Working with families of children who are deaf-blind…

    17. Ensuring Sustainability Weaving Deaf Mentors into all Outreach Programs • Family Conference • Teen Getaway Weekends • Deaf Mentors as Role Models; Group Leaders; Childcare Volunteers; Conference Photographer; Exhibitors; Presenters; Program Booklet; etc.

    18. Program Evaluation • Evaluating Child Progress • Communication Matrix (pre-linguistic) • Developed by Charity Rowland, PhD – measures pre-symbolic communication (https://www.designtolearn.com) • Communication Rubrics (linguistic) • Developed by a team within the Wisconsin Deaf Mentor Program and local ASL experts

    19. More About the Communication Matrix • Developed a “survey monkey” for easy completion by mentors and comparison of data • Categories of Measurement: • Ways to REFUSE things • Ways to OBTAIN things • Ways to engage in SOCIAL interaction • Ways to provide or seek INFORMATION

    20. Child is deaf-blind and 9 years old.Ways to REFUSE things that you don't want ... **Expresses discomfort** What does the child do to make you think he is uncomfortable? Pre-Intentional behavior responses may include: May 11, 2013 Feb. 24, 2014

    21. Ways to REFUSE things you don't want... **Protests** What does the child do to make you think she doesn't want something? Intentional behavior responses may include: May 11, 2013 Feb. 24, 2014

    22. More about the Communication Rubrics • Measures Expressive and Receptive Sign Communication Skills • Does not measure language levels, but does look at the range of development for components of ASL, including eye gaze, sign movement, classifiers, facial expression, understanding and use of questions, etc. • Developed a “survey monkey” for easy completion my mentors and comparison of data

    23. Child is 5 years old and started DMP Oct, 2013. “Expressive” Nov. 11, 2013 April 1, 2014

    24. Child is 3 years old and just start DMP Feb. 2013“Receptive” May 1, 2013 Oct. 24, 2013

    25. Program Evaluation • Evaluating Family Progress and Program Efficacy • Pre/Post DMPFS Survey (DMPFS) – data not yet available • Pre/Post Communication Survey (DMP) – some questions include: • What percentage of time do you sign with your child? • How often do you understand your child? • Approximately, how many signs do you know? • Annual Program Survey • Evaluating Deaf Mentor Job Performance • Annual Review will contain two parts: • Home visit supervision and feedback (qualitative) • Provide written report and set annual goals • NEW: Deaf Mentor Self-Evaluation (specific skills) • Mentor and Supervisor will complete

    26. Parent Testimony is the best evaluation!

    27. Challenges • Program cannot “fix” a broken system • Longevity of Deaf Mentors • Message from medical community • Isolation of Deaf Mentors • State Policy Issues • Language used in the home

    28. Ensuring Sustainability – Future ChangesBased on feedback from Families and Mentors • Deaf/Hard of Hearing “Role Model” Program • Ages of Children Served • Parallel program for families that want to focus on listening and spoken language development

    29. Thinking about our future…. Always evolving!

    30. DMP bridges the gap….

    31. Bridging the gap….. Deaf/Hard of Hearing and Hearing Worlds

    32. Presenters • Bonnie Eldred, Deaf Mentor Program Coordinator Wisconsin Educational Services Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (WESP-DHH) VP 262-725-0252bonnie.eldred@wesp-dhh.wi.gov • Marcy Dicker, Outreach Director Wisconsin Educational Services Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (WESP-DHH) Voice 262-787-9540 VP 262-725-0523 marcy.dicker@wesp-dhh.wi.gov A special thanks to Lindsay Crawford, WESP-DHH Outreach Technology Coordinator for editing, creating, and captioning the video clips.