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MedEd Connections Resource Guides: Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Early Intervention (EI)

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Ohio's Early Intervention (OEI)

Phone: (800) 755-4769

If your child is age 3 or under and is deaf or hard of hearing, contact Ohio Early Intervention (OEI) to determine whether the child is eligible for services. If eligible, families will be provided the opportunity to work with a service coordinator to develop an Individualized Family Service Program (IFSP). The IFSP is an action plan created by the team to improve a child’s social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development. The IFSP team consists of the family members, a service coordinator, professionals, and agency representatives. The ultimate purpose of this family-oriented process is to ensure that families get what they need so their child can develop as well as possible.

Services and special education are given to those who are eligible under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This is a federal law that is divided into three sections: Part A, B, and C. Part A explains the specifics of the law. Part B addresses services for children between the ages of 3-21 via an IEP. Part C is the section in which services are addressed to children birth to age 3 via an IFSP.

Once you have contacted EI, a service provider will evaluate your child to determine your child’s eligibility and service needs. A medical diagnosis from an audiologist will be needed, along with the results of other assessments/evaluations. Keep personal copies of all documents pertaining to your child, including medical, auditory, and EI-related documents. Once your child is approaching age 3, the IFSP team should meet to talk about transition into school services and an IEP, which falls under part B of IDEA, as mentioned above.

Anyone can make a referral. If you have a concern, call us (1-800-755-4769) or complete a simple, online referral. Ohio's Early Intervention will set up a time to talk to you that fits into your schedule.

Bold Beginning!

Bold Beginning! is a website that has information about available early childhood programs and services for children, families, and communities in Ohio. It also includes a list of developmental milestones. Milestones are skills or abilities that children are typically able to do by a certain age, such as smiling, crawling, and communicating. The way your child learns, plays, and behaves will provide clues about your child’s cognitive, physical, emotional, and social development. Developmental milestones are important, because they can indicate whether or not your child would benefit from early intervention. If your child is having challenges with any of the milestones, consult your child’s pediatrician and consider contacting Early Intervention (see above) for support. EI will assist you with your child’s developmental skills.

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