Service Provider Qualifications
Infants and babies who are deaf or hard of hearing generally are eligible for early intervention services. The goal of these services is to ensure that deaf and hard of hearing infants, toddlers, and children develop age-appropriate language, social skills, and cognitive skills. Qualified, specialized early intervention personnel are necessary to help achieve this goal. The Joint Committee on Infant Hearing1 recommends that:
All individuals who provide services to infants with hearing loss should have training and expertise in auditory, speech, and language development; communication approaches for infants with hearing loss and their families (eg, cued speech, sign language systems including American Sign Language); and child development.
The Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf recommends that:
[Early intervention] providers should be credentialed by the early intervention system in the state in which they work. Minimally, they must have education and experience with the 0-3 population and have a degree in Deaf Education. They should know about the acquisition and development of spoken and signed language in children who are deaf and hard of hearing. They should possess the training and skills necessary to help children develop age appropriate language. They should be skilled in working with families from diverse backgrounds.
According to the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing, early interventionists for deaf and hard of hearing infants an