2024 Early Hearing Detection & Intervention Conference

March 17-19, 2024 • Denver, CO


 Creating Meaning Together: Understanding EI from a Social Model

How we understand the world around us is a complex combination of many influencing factors. Some factors are internal: senses, emotions, mental and physical abilities. Some factors are external: people, policies, language, media. These influences combine to help us create meaning. As early intervention professionals and parents, together we form ideas about what being DHH means for each of our children. Holler et al. (2021) talked in their study with occupational therapists about how understanding a social model of disability impacted their practice. They found that having this understanding leads to more positive perceptions of disability, more “everyday” application of services, and a focus on ability. As early intervention professionals, we strive to meet the best practice guidelines including using everyday routines and supporting families where they are. The 2013 Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (JCIH) supplement to the 2007 position statement includes a goal regarding training for EI providers. Goal 3 states that EI professionals should have “qualifications and core knowledge and skills to optimize the child’s development and child/family well-being" (p.1328). This instructional session will provide opportunities for each of us, in our varied roles, to better understand how a social model perspective can help us meet those guidelines. As a group, our session goals are to: Begin to understand the social construction model Reflect on our beliefs about disability/deafness Reflect on how we participate in constructing disability/deafness with families Examine barriers in early intervention systems Brainstorm what we can do to improve our personal practice There will be assorted opportunities provided to learn throughout this session. Small group discussion, personal reflection, and large group discussion. Upon completion of the session, each participant should have some concrete ideas for how a social model understanding can improve their interactions with families and encourage best practice in their area. Holler, R., Chemla, I., & Maeir, A. (2021). Disability orientation of occupational therapy practitioners in physical rehabilitation settings: Tension between medical and social models in theory and practice. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 75, 7504180010. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2021.042986 Joint Committee on Infant Hearing. (2013). Supplement to the JCIH 2007 position statement: Principles and guidelines for intervention after confirmation that a child is deaf or hard of hearing. Pediatrics, 131(4), e1324-1349. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2013-0008

  • Participants will distinguish the basic components of a social model of deafness/disability
  • Participants will identify their beliefs and recognize the impact on families
  • Participants will examine barriers in EI and discover ways to improve practice

3420032_15471Bettie T.Petersen.pdf

Presenter: Bettie Petersen

Bettie got her M.Ed in Deaf Education Early Intervention from Utah State University in 2006. She has been working for the New Mexico School for the Deaf for the past 15 years in Early Intervention. She recently completed her PhD in Educational Linguistics at the University of New Mexico. Her passion is supporting parents and their children and helping them realize their potential. She hopes to use her new-found knowledge to do research that gives voice to more families and improves our EHDI programming. She just finished a Post Doc at the University of Connecticut - working on the Family ASL Project. She is also a wife and mother of two. She believes strongly in the power of family.


Financial -
• Receives Consulting fee for Employment,Consulting from New Mexico School for the Deaf.
• Receives Salary for Employment from University of Connecticut.

Nonfinancial -
No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.