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Early Identification and Referral Toolbox

Identify Needs, Solutions, and Desired Outcomes


Write a list of the early identification and referral needs relevant to EHDI or Hands & Voices that you discovered when you went through the Early Identification & Referral Self-Assessment Guide or other sources. Prioritize them in order of importance. Examples:

  • Limited deaf-blind experience among EHDI or Hands & Voices personnel in a region with a relatively large number of infants and toddlers who are deaf-blind
  • Issues relevant for children with deaf-blindness are not incorporated into state EHDI initiatives


Propose potential solutions to the identified needs (see the “Take Action” section for more ideas and resources). Examples:

  • Embed information about deaf-blindness as a distinct disability and its associated etiologies and risk factors into EHDI's training materials for personnel in a position likely to refer children with known or suspected deaf-blindness to your project
  • Establish a formal referral agreement between EHDI and your project that outlines eligibility guidelines and the referral process (ideally incorporated into existing processes)
  • Serve or have families familiar with your project serve on committees or boards working on initiatives to improve EHDI identification and referral processes


Write a list of the outcomes you would like to achieve as you address these problems. Increased identification and referral are the ultimate outcomes, but it’s also helpful to focus on more immediate changes you would like to see. Examples:

  • EHDI and Hands & Voices personnel have increased knowledge of your state deaf-blind project and its services
  • Families that are connected to Hands & Voices and have children who are potentially eligible for state deaf-blind project services have increased awareness of your  project
  • An increased number of infants are referred to your state deaf-blind project by EHDI as soon as deaf-blindness is suspected or diagnosed
  • The needs of children with deaf-blindness are included in EHDI initiatives