1-3-6 & Beyond Conference Shares Resources

On January 22, Renee LG Koffend, AuD CCC-A, provided an overview of the importance of hearing screening, the types of hearing loss, how to read a speech banana, and had the audience experience what it is like to have diminished hearing. 

Guam Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (Guam EHDI) held two Guam EHDI 1-3-6 & Beyond Mini-Conferences on January 13 and January 22, 2022, at the Hotel Lotte Guam. Families, partner agencies, service providers, and daycare providers were among the attendees for the mini conferences. These mini conferences were the first face-to-face EHDI activities held in the community since February 2020. The mini-conference held on January 13, 2022, included a presentation by the Guam Department of Education (GDOE), Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) Program personnel who shared information about the ECSE program staff; program services for children ages three to five who have been identified with developmental delays in speech and language, cognition, fine motor, gross motor, self help skills, personal and social skills, and hearing and vision; the referral and eligibility process; where and when services are delivered; and the transitioning process from ECSE to Kindergarten. GDOE Special Education personnel, also provided information on “Understanding the Individualized Education Program (IEP)”. The last of the 1-3-6 & Beyond Mini-Conferences was held on January 22 at the Lotte Hotel Guam. The Guam EHDI audiologist consultant shared with the audience the importance of meeting the Joint Committee of Infant Hearing (JCIH) 1-3-6 goals: all infants are screened by one month of age; infants who refer at the initial hearing screening receive a diagnostic audiological evaluation (DAE) by three months of age; infants diagnosed with a hearing loss are enrolled in early intervention services by six months of age; described the two types of hearing loss: sensorineural hearing loss and conductive hearing loss; demonstrated how quick, easy, and painless it is to conduct a hearing screening; and provided conference attendees an opportunity to participate in a hearing loss simulation. The audiologist also provided free hearing screening to conference participants interested in receiving a hearing screen. The afternoon ended with the GDOE Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) Coordinator providing an overview of all the special education services GDOE provides along with information on the eligibility criteria for special education services. A total of 50 parents, service providers, daycare staff, college students, DHH advocates and EHDI were present on both days. 

The mini conferences preceded the Guam EHDI 1-3-6 and Beyond Conference at the Hilton Resort and Spa on February 4, a one-day event with a total of 69 participants in attendance. Presenters included the EHDI staff, Guam EHDI partners from Guam Memorial Hospital Authority, Sagua Mañagu Birthing Center, Guam Hearing Doctors (GHD), Guam’s Positive Parents Together (GPPT), GDOE GEIS, GDOE Special Education, and the GDOE Deaf and Hard of Hearing Coordinator. The conference provided information about Guam EHDI’s history, the JCIH 1-3-6 goals, the role each EHDI partner contributes to meet the JCIH 1-3-6 goals (GMHA, SMBC, GHD, GEIS, GPPT). GDOE personnel provided attendees with additional information about the following topics: 

z GDOE – Guam Early Intervention System (GEIS): Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) 

z GDOE – ECSE: An Overview of ECSE 

z GDOE Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services 

z GDOE Special Education – Introducing Secondary Transition in an IEP 

z GHD – The audiologist’s role in the Guam EHDI Program, hearing screening, diagnostic evaluation, cochlear implants, and Cytomegalovirus (CMV). 

The conference closed with a panel of two parents and an adult DHH advocate sharing their journey in the system, goals for their children, and the reflections of a DHH adult growing up in the educational system in Guam and in the mainland. 

The last hour of the conference was set aside for the Guam EHDI Advisory Committee Meeting. EHDI staff reported on the progress of the grant Aims and Sub-aims and received feedback and recommendations from stakeholders. EHDI staff also presented hearing screening data that will be used to identify the population to focus on in the development of the “Guam EHDI Diversity and Inclusion Plan”.