This announcement solicits applications for the Family Leadership in Language and Learning Program (FL3) for the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention Program. The purpose of this program is to support the development of statewide newborn and infant hearing screening, evaluation,
diagnosis, and intervention programs and systems by promoting the inclusion of families, parents, and caregivers of deaf or hard of hearing infants/children identified through the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Program as leaders in the statewide Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) system and thereby to support such children’s language, literacy, and social-emotional development.
This purpose will be achieved by focusing efforts on:
1) supporting state/territory organizations that provide support to families of deaf or hard of hearing children; 2) coordinating with the HRSA-supported National Technical Resource Center for Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention and state/territory EHDI programs in improving family engagement, partnership, and leadership within the EHDI system, and 3) collaborating with established Deaf Mentor programs for families.
Program Goal The goal of the program is to ensure that statewide EHDI systems incorporate certain elements that support the families, parents and caregivers of deaf or hard of hearing infants/children identified through newborn hearing screening in optimizing language, literacy, and social-emotional development.
Program Objectives All (100 percent) state/territory EHDI systems will develop partnerships with identified statewide, family-based organizations or programs that provide family-to-family support to families of deaf or hard of hearing children identified through newborn screening by the end of the three-year project period.
To increase by 30 percent from baseline, the number of families who report increased knowledge, skill, ability, and self-efficacy to serve as leaders in national and state/territory EHDI systems by the end of the three-year project period.
To increase by 50 percent from baseline, the number of families that receive family-to-family support by the end of the three-year project period.
To increase by 50 percent from baseline, the number of families with knowledge of opportunities for language, literacy, and social development for their children by the end of the three-year project period.
To increase by 30 percent from baseline, the number of families that are offered support from Deaf Mentors by the end of the three-year project period.
Program Requirements Family Leadership in Language and Learning The recipient is expected to:
Conduct a formal, national needs assessment of families of infants/children identified to be deaf or hard of hearing through newborn/early childhood hearing screening, ensuring the inclusion of information from diverse populations of families across a broad range of disadvantaged and underserved groups, within the first six months of the project.
Use the information to:
Build a portfolio of trainings, educational materials, resources, etc., to support family partnership, engagement, and leadership within the EHDI system; and Inform and shape support, family education, and mentorship activities.
Collaborate with the HRSA-supported National Technical Resource Center for Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention (NTRC) in strengthening the EHDI system to promote support for families of deaf or hard of hearing infants/children in optimizing their children’s language, literacy, and social-emotional development.
Provide technical assistance and training to state/territory EHDI systems and other organizations that support the needs of deaf or hard of hearing infants/children to improve family engagement, partnership, and leadership within the EHDI system.
Family Support The recipient is expected to:
Support identified statewide state/territory EHDI systems, including community-based organizations that partner with such systems, to provide culturally sensitive, family-centered training opportunities and materials on mentoring, support, and guidance to families and other system stakeholders (e.g., health professionals, early intervention programs, public health programs, etc.).
Develop and provide resources to state/territory EHDI systems on assuring that families are active participants and leaders in EHDI systems.
Resources should address the families’ role in all aspects of the system and with all stakeholders.
Family Education The recipient is expected to:
Support state/territory EHDI systems in dissemination of resources and information to families, including importance of enrollment in early intervention services supported by Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Collaborate with the NTRC to ensure resources developed and disseminated are inclusive of family needs.
Collaborate with national experts in language and literacy acquisition for infants identified as deaf or hard of hearing to develop, identify, and disseminate resources and training opportunities that highlight and summarize the latest evidence-based research findings around:
Appropriate cognitive, social, and emotional developmental processes and milestones in deaf and hard of hearing infants and children; Language acquisition and literacy in deaf and hard of hearing children:
Benefits to infants/children who are deaf and hard of hearing on access to language during critical periods of learning.
Appropriate language milestones for families and professionals to monitor deaf or hard of hearing infants’/children’s language and literacy development.
The positive effects of multimodal and multilingual communication on language and literacy development in deaf and hard of hearing children.
Effects of unconscious bias on decision making and its relationship to acceptance and support for diversity and inclusion with specific regard to deafness and the deaf and hard of hearing communities; and Tools and materials for families to structure home environments and family activities to support continuous, visual access to communication and environmental information (e.g.
innovative use of lighting to support visual communication and information through alarms/alerts, use of captioning on media devices, infant’s visual access to family interactions, etc.).
Develop culturally sensitive communications campaign for families of deaf and hard of hearing infants/children on the importance of language development and acquisition and risks of language deprivation.
Deaf Mentor Programs The recipient is expected to:
Develop strategies to support meaningful inclusion of deaf and hard of hearing adults within national, state, and territory EHDI systems.
Engage and collaborate with deaf-based organizations that operate Deaf Mentor programs to learn best practices and to integrate new knowledge into disseminated resources and training curriculums.
Develop training and resources for state/territory EHDI systems and family-to-family support organizations to partner with organizations that serve the deaf and hard of hearing community.
Support the establishment of Deaf Mentor programs for families with deaf or hard of hearing infants and children in all states/territories. Deaf Mentor programs should provide families regular opportunities with a Deaf Mentor, a qualified deaf or hard of hearing adult, to interact with their child using American Sign Language (ASL) and effective visual communication strategies, and to guide understanding of deafness and Deaf Culture.
Deaf Mentor programs should also increase knowledge of national, state, and local resources for deaf and hard of hearing infants/children and their families.
Quality Improvement The recipient is expected to:
Conduct continuous development of quality improvement practices of the FL3 program.
Quality improvement consists of systematic and continuous actions that lead to measurable improvement in health care services and the health status of targeted patient groups. The recipient will be required to employ quality improvement methodology as part of their strategies to address family engagement, leadership, and partnership.
Manage a data and evaluation system to track and monitor outreach and efficacy of program outreach and training activities.
Sustainability The recipient is expected to:
Propose a plan for project sustainability after the period of federal funding ends.
Sustain key elements of their projects, e.g., strategies or services and interventions, which have been effective in delivery system reform by improving practices in care delivery and those that have led to improved outcomes for deaf and hard of hearing children.
Cooperative Agreement Requirement:
In addition to the above program requirements, the successful applicant will also be required to participate in the following:
Annual Early Hearing Detection and Intervention conference:
Recipients will be required to attend the annual EHDI conference.
You should budget for two (2) staff to attend the annual EHDI conference.
 A Deaf Mentor program provides families with deaf or hard of hearing infants and children regular opportunities with a Deaf Mentor, a qualified deaf or hard of hearing adult, to interact with their child using American Sign Language (ASL) and effective visual communication strategies, and to guide understanding of deafness and Deaf Culture.
 For the purposes of this FOA refer to the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000, Sec.
101(c) (4-6) for the definitions of the terms “diversity” and “inclusion.”  http://www.hrsa.gov/quality/toolbox/methodology/qualityimprovement/