In 2012, members of GPODHH participated in the International Consensus Conference on Family-Centred Early Intervention (FCEI) for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children in Bad Ischl, Austria. An International consensus statement was published in 2013 with 10 best practice principles.
Principle 1: Early, Timely, & Equitable Access to Services
Screening and confirmation that a child is D/HH will be effective to the degree that they are linked with immediate, timely, and equitable access to appropriate interventions.
Principle 2: Family/Provider Partnerships
A goal of FCEI is the development of balanced partnerships between families and the professionals supporting them. Family-provider partnerships are characterized by reciprocity, mutual trust, respect, honesty, shared tasks, and open communication.
Principle 3: Informed Choice and Decision Making
Professionals promote the process wherein families gain the necessary knowledge, information, and experiences to make fully informed decisions. This includes educating families regarding special education laws and their rights as defined by these laws. Decision making is seen as a fluid, ongoing process. Families may adapt or change decisions in response to the child’s and families’ changing abilities, needs, progress, and emotional well-being.
Principle 4: Family Social & Emotional Support
Families are connected to support systems so they can accrue the necessary knowledge and experiences that can enable them to function effectively on behalf of their D/HH children.
Principle 5: Family Infant Interaction
Families and providers work together to create optimal environments for language learning.
Principle 6: Use of Assistive Technologies and Supporting Means of Communication
Providers must be skilled in the tools, assistive devices, and mechanisms necessary to optimally support the child´s language and communication development.
Principle 7: Qualified Providers
Providers are well trained and have specialized knowledge and skills related to working with children who are D/HH and their families. Providers possess the core competencies to support families in optimizing the child’s development and child-family well-being.
Principle 8: Collaborative Teamwork
An optimal FCEI team focuses on the family and includes professionals with experience in promoting early development of children who are D/HH. Ongoing support is provided to families and children through transdisciplinary teamwork, whereby professionals with the requisite skills are matched to the needs of the child and family.
Principle 9: Progress Monitoring
FCEI is guided by regular monitoring/assessment of child and family outcomes.
Principle 10: Program Monitoring
FCEI programs evaluate provider adherence to best practices and include quality assurance monitors for all program elements.