A primary goal of Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) programs is to prevent the potential negative effects of congenital hearing loss, allowing children who are deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH) to achieve age-appropriate language, social, and cognitive skills that provide the foundation for later schooling and success in society. To support this mission, and in accordance with the guidelines proposed by the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (2013), through this cooperative agreement we propose to establish and manage an Outcomes and Developmental Data Assistance Center for EHDI Programs (ODDACE). The overarching purpose of this center is to assist states, territories, early intervention programs, EHDI personnel, and other strategic partners in gathering, analyzing, and using a standard set of intervention and developmental outcomes data from children birth to 3 years of age who are D/HH in a manner that is in keeping with current best practices in the fields of evaluation and assessment. Strategic partners will share intervention and assessment data with the center for the purpose of creating a database which will allow us to assess the provision of intervention services and developmental outcomes at the national level.
The specific outcomes of this center include: 1) increased capacity of states to collect and document, in a standardized manner, information related to intervention services among children who are D/HH, 2) increased capacity of states to collect and document, in a standardized manner, information related to language and other developmental outcomes among children who are D/HH, 3) improved tracking and surveillance of early intervention service provision and developmental outcomes of children who are D/HH through the establishment and management of a national intervention and outcomes database, 4) inclusion of developmental outcome data in state EHDI information systems including exploration of data linkage opportunities with the ODDACE database, 5) Increased collaboration between deafness-related professionals, including state EHDI programs, intervention agencies, parent/family support organizations, audiologists, families, and other strategic partners, 6) increased knowledge among strategic partners regarding the provision of intervention services and the current state of developmental child outcomes, including developmental growth trajectories, 7) increased understanding of the impact of timing, quality, type, and frequency of intervention services, as well as other factors, on the language and developmental outcomes of children who are D/HH, 8) increased knowledge regarding the impact of EHDI activities, including the impact of adherence to EHDI guidelines, on intervention practices and child outcomes on a national level, and 9) increased knowledge among intervention and other EHDI professionals regarding the use of assessment data to inform intervention decisions and practices that support improved developmental outcomes among children who are D/HH.