Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Lia Scott, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Akilah Heggs, Ph.D.


The Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) system, which was originally developed by the Joint Commission on Infant Hearing and was created to provide a screening through intervention support network for children with congenital hearing loss and auditory disorders, to support their communication development, quality of life and growth milestones. The EHDI system is a web of healthcare providers and community organizations that includes a variety of peer-based and community-based family support to help prevent missed diagnoses, gaps in care. It also offers emotional resources and access support to families of children with hearing loss. The goal of this system is to enable children to meet their developmental milestones at a similar age and to a similar degree as their hearing peers. This research seeks to understand family experiences navigating the early intervention system for children who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing (D/HH) with an additional suspected or confirmed diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), commonly referred to as D/HH+. The goal of this study is to understand if, and where gaps may exist in the early intervention system, a critically important early care setting for this population. Responses from this qualitative survey created for this study will be compared to previous evidence collected as part of the Gallaudet ‘Annual Survey of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children and Youth’, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Children’s Health Survey. The results from the study will be used to create recommendations to improve clinical education design continuing education for healthcare professionals, and provide targeted recommendations for systemic improvements to strengthen provider and community network linkages. The outcome of these educational programs will be to improve the health, development, and care outcomes for D/HH+ children and potentially others with complex conditions in the future.


File Upload Confirmation


Available for download on Wednesday, December 04, 2024