What’s in This Toolkit?
Before starting to work on the toolkit, we had several brainstorming sessions with parents and professionals. We came away with excitement, but also with the realization of the daunting task before us. We came to realize we couldn’t include all of what parents and professionals were asking for. What you will not find in the toolkit is:
For the toolkit, we focused on including material parents want to know, but don’t know who to ask or can’t find easily. The toolkit covers:
As you can see from the topics above, the information could be “too much information,” or not relevant to a specific family. Perhaps now would be a good time to outline how we envision this toolkit will be used, and by whom:
However, some content is technical and we will not meet the needs of these families in this regard. We hope we will be able to attract Parent Guides that can provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services and supports to families to fill this gap.
For simplicity in writing and reading, we alternated the gender of pronouns. One section will use “she,” the next will use “he,” and so on. Of course, every section applies to both girls and boys.
We used the word “hearing devices” to mean hearing aids, cochlear implants, or bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHAs).
We capitalized Deaf and Hard of Hearing. We recognize that “deaf” is different from “Deaf”; however, in children, identification with these terms is evolving. As a parent said, “Sometimes I call her Deaf. Other times I refer to her as being Hard of Hearing. But mostly, I call her Sarah.” An exception to the capitalization occurred when we referred to a source that uses a different convention (such as in the article summaries for the Lending Library).
Where Do I Start? How Do I Use this Toolkit?
You may want to start with your questions. Check the Table of Contents for topics of interest to you. Many parents report they spend hours researching on the Internet trying to find answers. Unfortunately, judging the accuracy and relevancy of information from the Internet can be difficult. This toolkit was created with the intent to direct you to accurate information, and save you time as well.
If you have no specific questions, we suggest starting with the After Diagnosis section. This information serves as a foundation for later, more advanced, topics.
Keep in mind this toolkit will evolve over time. At the back of this toolkit is a questionnaire. We would appreciate your feedback so we can make improvements. Please take time to complete the questionnaire and send it back to us. In doing so, you will help other families who will use the toolkit in the future.
Let’s get started!