Influences on the development of early intervention practices for children who are deaf or hard of hearing: A systematised literature review

Dr Nic Mahler1, Melissa McCarthy2

1Griffith University, Southport, Queensland, Australia

2RIDBC Renwick Centre, North Rocks, NSW, Australia

The last 15 years have seen a steep trajectory of change in knowledge, skills and resources across the hearing loss sector, leading to rapid developments in choices and expectations of long-term outcomes for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Advances in technology, services, policy and research have resulted in a highly modernised playing field, where organisations, practitioners and families need to be proactive to keep abreast of developments. The current project aimed to investigate how organisations, practitioners and families are managing the rapid advancements in the sector. How have professional practices developed in this dynamic environment and what has influenced these developments? What are some of the barriers encountered in enabling current practice and what is critical in supporting organisations and practitioners to optimise their early intervention services? How have family-centred principles been translated into practice, and are developments in line with families’ needs? A systematised literature review was used to investigate current issues around professional practice. The identified literature was synthesised and gaps in evidence identified. The results motivated a method for informing answers to critical questions in professional practice today by means of a national survey. Based on the documented importance of informing practices through consultation with providers and recipients of services (Jeglinksy et al, 2012), two parallel surveys—a parent version and a practitioner version—are proposed.



Nic Mahler (PhD) holds an appointment as Lecturer in the Master of Speech Pathology Program at Griffith University. She has extensive experience working with children with communication difficulties in a range of research and clinical positions, with the last 10 years predominantly spent working with children who are deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH) and their families. Her current research interests include optimising early intervention outcomes of children who are D/HH, family-centred practice, and early intervention service development for children who are D/HH.