242218 Cochlear Implant School Toolkit: Helping children with cochlear implants achieve academically and socially in mainstream schools

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Louise C. Palmer, MA , KDH Research & Communication, Inc, Atlanta, GA
Jana Eisenstein, MS , KDH Research & Communication, Inc, Atlanta, GA
Kristen D. Holtz, PhD , KDH Research & Communication, Inc, Atlanta, GA
This paper presents findings from an evaluation of the effectiveness of The Cochlear Implant School Toolkit (The Toolkit) on parent and teacher knowledge of and attitudes and self-efficacy about mainstreaming children with cochlear implants (CIs). Approximately 25,500 children have received CIs in the United States. Children with CIs are increasingly entering mainstream schools. However, mainstream school systems are rarely equipped to adequately welcome these children. With funding from the National Institutes of Health, KDH Research & Communication developed The Toolkit to provide parents, teachers, and students information and tools to successfully mainstream (academically and socially) children with CIs. The outcome evaluation of the parent components of The Toolkit explored three interrelated research questions. To what extent do the parent materials increase parents' knowledge of advocating for their child with a CI, positive attitudes, and self-efficacy about mainstreaming? The research questions guiding the teacher evaluation examined the extent to which the materials increased teacher knowledge, positive attitudes, and self-efficacy about having a child with a CI in their class. We collected primary quantitative data from 60 parents and 60 teachers throughout the US. We used a pretest/post-test quasi-experimental study to explore the statistical relationship between exposure to The Toolkit and the dependent variables. Preliminary findings indicate The Toolkit is effective in increasing parents' and teachers' knowledge, attitudes, and self-efficacy about mainstreaming children with cochlear implants. These findings demonstrate the need for an intervention to help parents and teachers create a supportive academic and social school environment for children with CIs.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the challenges children with cochlear implants face both academically and socially in a mainstream school if proper accommodations are lacking. 2. Describe the five steps parents and teachers should take to successfully mainstream children with cochlear implants. 3. Identify characteristics of an effective parent and teacher intervention to successfully include children with cochlear implants in mainstream schools.

Keywords: Deaf, Children

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I develop, direct, and evaluate public health programs for vulnerable populations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.