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Effective Family Support Communication Strategies Candace Lindow-Davies Coordinator Minnesota Hands & Voices & Co-Author Karen Putz President Illinois.

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Presentation on theme: "Effective Family Support Communication Strategies Candace Lindow-Davies Coordinator Minnesota Hands & Voices & Co-Author Karen Putz President Illinois."— Presentation transcript:

1 Effective Family Support Communication Strategies Candace Lindow-Davies Coordinator Minnesota Hands & Voices & Co-Author Karen Putz President Illinois Hands & Voices

2 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.

3 How Did This Get In Here? Geez, Mom!

4 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

5 Minnesota Demographics Approximately 70,000 births per year 111 Birthing hospitals Metro Area in Southeast of State Vast rural communities No UNHS mandate…yet

6 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

7 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

8 Communication Types Passive Communication Anonymous Interactions One-on-one Communication Group Interactions

9 Communication Strategies: Passive Communication Newsletters** Mass Alerts Web Site** Fact Sheets** Parent Welcome Letters** New Parent Packets **These items are on our web site

10 Passive Communication: Newsletters Mailed Version Version Web Site Posting School Flyer See our web site

11 Passive Communication: Mass Alerts Custom Designed Database Client and Professional Information /Mass System Database stores incoming s under the individuals profile so history is kept Past common responses can be searched and used again

12 Example of MN Database: Mass

13 Example of MN Database: New Client Profile

14 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

15 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

16 Parent Welcome Letters

17 Communication Strategies: Anonymous Interactions Chat Rooms/Bulletin Boards

18 Anonymous Interactions: Hands & Voices Bulletin Board Parents can post questions about different topics Moderated Can pose questions specifically to a state chapter

19 Hands & Voices Bulletin Board:

20 Communication Strategies: One-on-one personal communication Phone communication between Parent Guides and parent communication between Parent Guides and parent Facilitated phone/ contact between parents In person meetings between Parent Guides and parents Facilitated in person meetings between parents

21 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

22 Communication Strategies: Large Group Involvement Social Events Educational Workshops Retreats Regional Family Activities/Socialization Days

23 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

24 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

25 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!

26 Contact Information Candace Lindow-Davies Family Support Coordinator MN Hands & Voices Family Support Connection Lifetrack Resources 709 University Avenue West St. Paul, MN

27 Contact Information Karen Putz President Illinois Hands and Voices


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