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Preparing to Address Challenges in Community Programs Serving Children Birth through Two

Early Identification and Referral

Preparing to Address Challenges in Community Programs Serving Children Birth through Two

Early Identification and Referral

This page was last updated on May 5, 2014 at 11:22 am

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Historically, state deaf-blind projects have experienced varying levels of success in improving early identification and referral of infants and toddlers. To address this challenge, state deaf-blind projects have found ways to share their most successful strategies. Recent work has also involved the examination of evidence-based early identification and referral practices to build on past efforts and respond to current funding requirements.

The activities included here are examples of strategies that lay the foundation for focused implementation efforts. They are closely aligned with evidence-based practices which have been identified as having particular relevance for our network. Start here – then move on to Resources for Under-Identification and Resources for Under-Referral, which provide clear steps for implementing practices that have a record of producing positive results. 

Do Your Homework

  • Increase knowledge of organizations that serve infants and families, such as: Early Head Start; WIC and TANF; NICU follow-up programs; March of Dimes; disability-specific organizations; child care, foster care and child protective services programs
  • Learn about Tracking Programs in your state and explore ways to share data
  • Learn about Risk Registries in your state and explore ways to share data
  • Increase staff knowledge about maternal/child health programs in your state

Make Connections

  • Partner with outreach programs from schools for the blind and/or schools for the deaf
  • Broaden your scope beyond education (e.g. maternal/child health organizations)

Get the word out

  • Provide displays at screening programs, health fairs, early childhood conferences
  • Contribute fact sheets and/or articles about the role vision and hearing play in early learning to Early Head Start newsletters or websites
  • Provide awareness materials about typical vision and hearing development to be included in information packets for families
  • Provide awareness and referral information in offices of community programs 
  • Consider a public service announcement or other general awareness activities
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