Presentation on theme: "Effective Family Support Communication Strategies Candace Lindow-Davies Coordinator Minnesota Hands & Voices & Co-Author Karen Putz President Illinois."— Presentation transcript:
Effective Family Support Communication Strategies Candace Lindow-Davies Coordinator Minnesota Hands & Voices & Co-Author Karen Putz President Illinois Hands & Voices
Financial Disclosure Statement A: I have no relevant financial relationship with the manufacturers of any commercial products and/or provider of commercial services discussed in this CME activity. B: I do not intend to discuss an unapproved/investigative use of a commercial product/device in my presentation.
Overview 1.Minnesota Demographics 2.Background about MN Hands & Voices 3.Observations about Changing Needs of Parents 4.Communication Strategies 5.Application to Other States 6.Conclusion
Minnesota Demographics Approximately 70,000 births per year 111 Birthing hospitals Metro Area in Southeast of State Vast rural communities No UNHS mandate…yet
Background on Minnesota Hands & Voices 30 years of family support specific to deaf/hard of hearing in Minnesota Strong signing, cueing and oral community Family Support Connection in existence for over 6 years (Now MN Hands & Voices) Program supported primarily by Greater Twin Cities United Way Staff consists of 9 paid Parent Guides = under 2 FTEs 3 Metro 6 Greater MN (Guide By Your Side Program) 492 Unduplicated Parents/Professionals Served in 2006 Over 700 on mailing list
Observations about Changing Needs of Parents 10 years ago, families had to personally attend workshops to get information or to find support from other families Today, families have access to information without leaving their home Families are far more complicated and heavily scheduled Our charge is to make sure that parents get accurate, comprehensive information/support for all choices in as many ways as possible
Communication Types Passive Communication Anonymous Interactions One-on-one Communication Group Interactions
Communication Strategies: Passive Communication Newsletters** Mass Email Alerts Web Site** Fact Sheets** Parent Welcome Letters** New Parent Packets **These items are on our web site
Passive Communication: Newsletters Mailed Version Email Version Web Site Posting School Flyer See our web site
Passive Communication: Mass Email Alerts Custom Designed Database Client and Professional Information Email/Mass Email System Database stores incoming emails under the individuals profile so history is kept Past common responses can be searched and used again
Passive Communication: Fact Sheets Variety of fact sheets developed based on common questions from parents Topics include: Beginning sign language, cued speech, auditory training, communication options, resources in the Spanish-speaking community, unilateral hearing loss and so on See our web site
Passive Communication: Parent Welcome Letters Tool used to encourage parents to reach out for support Opens with explaining the familys diagnosis story Discuss one challenge or success End with words of encouragement Three letters in Spanish, Hmong and Somali languages See our web site
Communication Strategies: One-on-one personal communication Phone communication between Parent Guides and parent Email communication between Parent Guides and parent Facilitated phone/email contact between parents In person meetings between Parent Guides and parents Facilitated in person meetings between parents
Communication Strategies: Small Group Interaction Small group interaction at a setting familiar to the parent Parent group at a school, church or cultural center Small group interaction at a setting unfamiliar to the parent Host organizations site Public Place
Communication Strategies: Large Group Involvement Social Events Educational Workshops Retreats Regional Family Activities/Socialization Days
Application to Other States ( Or What Ive Learned the Hard Way) Events require months of advanced notice Advertisements in more than one way/time Marketing needs to speak to parents Timing must be convenient Barriers to participation need to be removed Communication Financial Child Care Parking Site Location
Other Take Home Points Make events annual for the best attendance Vary your events so they are accessible Strive to appeal to appeal to different ages Offer events in a variety of locations in your state Get buy-in/support/recruitment from all groups Check for Balance/Fairness Experiment with interesting topics Mix fun/social events with education
Conclusion Parent education is an opportunity to bring necessary information to families at pivotal decision-making moments in their lives. Many different communication strategies must be engaged in order to reach families at different levels. A family armed with support, information and tools to advocate for their child…priceless!
Contact Information Candace Lindow-Davies Family Support Coordinator MN Hands & Voices Family Support Connection Lifetrack Resources 709 University Avenue West St. Paul, MN 55104-4804 866-346-4543 Candaced@lifetrackresources.org www.familysupportconnection.org
Contact Information Karen Putz President Illinois Hands and Voices www.Ilhandsandvoices.org Parentsofdeafhoh@aol.com
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