Research & Evaluation Division is growing

October 5, 2012 by cpehrson

The Division of Research and Evaluation has recently added  a new area of expertise to their ranks.  The SKI-HI Institute has now become a part of the CPD and brings with it a wealth of experience in the field of sensory impairments.

Adolescent boy with hearing aid signing“I am thrilled to have SKI-HI as part of the R&E Division, states Division Director, Mark Innocenti.  “The CPD did not have an emphasis on sensory impairments and SKI-HI brings this expertise. SKI-HI also has a strong history of evaluating their trainings and products, and conducting research on what works for families and children with sensory impairments. This blends nicely with the mission of the R&E Division.”

SKI-HI has been around since 1972 when Dr. Tom Clark, a Communicative Disorders faculty member, wrote a federal grant that developed one of the first early home intervention programs and curriculum in the country for infants and toddlers who were deaf and hard of hearing.

Over the years, the Institute has expanded with new model programs, materials and training in the areas of deafblindness, blind/visually impaired, deaf mentoring and other disabilities. Through these grants, SKI-HI has helped to start six new programs in the state of Utah that are now permanently funded by the legislature and operated by the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind. These include the Deaf Parent  (SKI-HI) program, the Rural Blind Parent/Infant program (VIISA/INSITE), the Deaf Mentor program, the Deafblind Intervener Services program, the At Home and At Day Care (AHEAD) program, and the Rural Teacher Consultant program for school-aged blind/visually impaired.

Innocenti has worked collaboratively with SKI-HI staff for several years on projects that focus on children with deafblindness and their families. “We have looked at tools for teachers and parents, and on training for those who work with these children. Linda Alsop and I recently Co-PI’d a grant titled: Online Training for Parents of Children with Deafblindness to Improve Children’s Communication and School Readiness Skills.”

Currently, Mark, Linda, and Lori Rowan are working on a project called: Project STRIPES (Sensory TRaining for Interveners and Paraprofessionals in Education Settings).  This training program offers either a Certificate of Completion in Deafblindness or an Associate’s Degree of Science in General Studies with a focus in deafblindness. This online program of study is the first and only one in the country to offer university credited coursework, which prepares interveners to obtain the knowledge and skills needed to work effectively with children and youth who are deafblind.

Many of the SKI-HI Institute programs are implemented throughout the United States and Canada via trainings which are conducted by national and local trainers. The Institute also conducts trainings and provides technical support to local trainers across the country for their VIISA, INSITE and SKI-HI models.  Resource materials include user-friendly program manuals, videotapes, assessments, print materials, and much more are available on the Ski-HI web site.

Welcome to the CPD family, SKI-HI staff !


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