Project Details

The SKI-HI Institute is located within the Division of Research and Evaluation. The Institute was started in 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 for infants and toddlers who were deaf and hard of hearing in the country..

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. The Sensory TRaining for Interveners and Paraprofessionals in Educational Settings (STRIPES)project is one of the SKI-HI Institute's programs.

Project Context
Currently, Utah State University offers a unique program that offers affordable online education for interveners working with students with combined vision and hearing loss or deafblindness. An intervener is a person who works one-on-one with a child who is deafblind and who has training and specialized skills in deafblindness. 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.

Project Focus
The purpose of Sensory TRaining for Interveners and Paraprofessionals in Educational Settings (STRIPES)project is to enhance the existing program of study for interveners working with children who are deafblind by doing the following:
? Updating current coursework according to evidence-based practices,
? Expanding the training program by developing a new deafblind course which offers advanced content and is based on evidence-based practices,
? Developing an online practicum model that incorporates best practices in coaching strategies, and
? Implementing the improved coursework and the practicum with interveners nationwide and evaluating its effectiveness.

Project STRIPES prepares graduates of the online deafblind program of study to better serve children with deafblindness in home, school, and community settings. In addition, the online practicum model which includes a coaching component, ensures that graduates demonstrate mastery of the National Intervener Competencies. Completion of the Intervener Training Program prepares interveners to receive the National Intervener Credential.