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MedEd Connections D/HH: Introduction

Mother, grandmother, and daughter

This resource guide is designed to support families as they manage, access, and share medical and educational information concerning their children. The purpose of this guide is to help families build their understanding and connect important medical and educational information to make more informed decisions, so that their children who are deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH) can grow and live their best lives. This guide is designed to support families and their children of all ages, at any point in their life journey.

Why Is This Information Important?

The information provided in this guide is important because clear and unbiased information about educational and medical options can empower families to make their own decisions and gather greater benefit from the systems designed to serve them.

Being aware of multiple choices and perspectives is important. Options available may differ based on where you work or live, the unique needs of your child, and many other factors. We strive to provide a variety of information, but this guide is not the complete solution. When using this guide, we also recommend:

  • Speaking with medical and educational professionals, family, and friends in your area who are familiar with your child and the resources available to you.
  • Weigh all options. The first suggestion you may hear may not be the only course of action, or the one best matched to the needs of your unique child. As you work through this guide, please take notes, reflect, and write down questions to share with professionals working with your family.

This guide includes the following sections:

  • After the Hearing Screening provides information on next steps after receiving hearing screening results either in the hospital or school setting.
  • Preparing for Your Doctor Visit provides information to build understanding of hearing conditions, medical terms, and to help you feel more familiar with the medical process.
  • Language provides information on the importance of early language acquisition and development and how both the medical and educational aspects impact language access and development.
  • Communication provides information on various forms of communication used by and with people who are deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH) to best convey their language.
  • Early Intervention provides basic information about early intervention services, making a referral, and supports for children birth to age three who are D/HH.
  • Professional Team Members provides an overview and more specific information on titles for professionals that might be part of the medical or educational process.
  • Special Education and Specially Designed Instruction provides in-depth information about the rules and resources regarding educational services for those eligible for special education services.
  • Transition provides a brief overview of the transition to adulthood process for those who are D/HH, resources, and which medical and educational information is important at critical points of transition.
  • Rights and Laws provides resources for families to learn about federal and state education laws applicable to students with disabilities.
  • Literacy provides information about literacy acquisition for learners who are D/HH and how medical and educational teams can share information to improve outcomes.
  • Assistive Technology and Communication Technology provide comprehensive information about technology supports for those who are D/HH, usage, the importance of shared medical and educational information, and where to access resources.
  • Assistance Purchasing Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants, or FM/DM Systems provides information about Ohio and national financial assistance programs for families who may need help paying for hearing technology or health services.
  • Obtaining Additional Services provides information about agencies in Ohio that can benefit those who are D/HH.
  • Family Support provides information on local, state, and national support groups for families, with some that include professionals and family members.
  • Understanding Deaf Culture provides information on the term Deaf Culture and the Deaf community.
  • Glossary of Terms and Acronyms provides definitions of terms used throughout this guide. This glossary will be updated periodically.
  • Leave Feedback on This MedEd Connections Resource Guide provides you an opportunity to give feedback towards the improvement of this MedEd Connections Resource Guide.
  • Acknowledgements recognizes the professionals who have contributed to this work.

If you have any questions about this MedEd Connections Resource Guide, or you would like further assistance, please contact, Michelle Motil, Family Support Liaison at the Outreach Center for Deafness and Blindness at OCALI:
Phone: (614) 401-2889

Note: This guide contains links to additional resources. The resources shared do not represent a complete list related to any topic presented.