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Early Identification & Intervention

Early identification and referral to state deaf-blind projects and other services is essential in order for infants and toddlers to receive specialized interventions that lay the foundation for development and learning. This initiative provides assistance and tools to support state deaf-blind projects in their work to strengthen the ability of early intervention systems to identify, refer, and work with infants and toddlers who are deaf-blind.

Initiative Lead

Emma Nelson

What's New


The Early Hearing Detection Intervention (EHDI) Conference takes place March 6-8, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. NCDB will be there alongside a number of state deaf-blind projects including Montana, the New England Consortium, South Carolina, and Tennessee. We'll take time to gather together. If any member of your state project is planning to attend, contact Emma Nelson.

Identification and Referral

NCDB provides support to state deaf-blind projects as they engage in systems-change activities to improve early identification and referral (EI&R) of children who are deaf-blind. Our support includes:

  • Consultation regarding use of the Early Identification and Referral Self-Assessment Guide to analyze the effectiveness of a state's EI&R activities and identify strategies to improve them
  • A peer-learning community (PLC) on increasing identification and referral efforts within the early hearing detection and intervention (EHDI)/Hands & Voices programs
  • Intensive systems TA on improving EI&R through work with one of four systems: Part C, EHDI, medical providers, and community providers

Early Intervention Personnel Development

Support for state deaf-blind projects in this area involves:

  • Consultation on developing training opportunities for early intervention providers using The Sooner the Better: A Framework for Training Early Intervention Practitioners on Deaf-Blindness, which offers a collection of online resources for developing customized training
  • A peer-learning community (PLC) to work on issues related to personnel development for Part C providers