Providing Structure

The suggestions below are general strategies that provide structure throughout the Initial Implementation Phase. Subsequent sections cover specific technical assistance and training strategies.

Ensure that agreed-upon implementation supports (e.g., release time, equipment) are present and operational as specified in the TA plan.1

Initial Implementation is a fragile, awkward phase when the team is trying new ways of interacting with a child and the difficulties associated with change provide strong motivation “for giving up and going back to comfortable routines (education as usual).”1 A strong, positive relationship with the TA provider can motivate team members to persevere.12

Advice from Colleagues

Trust between adults is just as important as trust between adults and children who are deaf-blind. Communication develops as the result of a personal connection.
No one is going to change their practice based on advice from somebody they don't trust or like.

Tools & Resources

Throughout the Initial Implementation Phase, it is important to periodically assess how things are going and make adjustments as needed. The SISEP motto for this stage is “Get started, then get better!”1

Evaluation during this phase helps you provide feedback to the team and determine if it’s necessary to modify your own TA. It is often informal and may include:

  • Team readiness (to see if things have changed since the Exploration Phase)
  • The fidelity and quality of your technical assistance31 (according to your own self-assessment or feedback from team members)
  • Change in knowledge, skills, beliefs, or attitudes of service providers/families
  • Fidelity of implementation by service providers/families1
  • Child outcomes1