The Power of DHH Plus


Presenters:  Amy Szarkowski and Candace Lindow-Davies

Early Hearing Detection and Intervention systems are making great advances in identification, follow-up, intervention, and family support for children who are deaf and hard of hearing. While we celebrate those successes, we continue to strive for equity in understanding the needs of, and providing services and supports to children who are deaf and hard of hearing who also have health issues, respectfully referred to as “DHH Plus.” The “Power of the ‘Plus’” can be harnessed when families have sufficient information about their child’s unique needs alongside the appropriate resources, granting them the ability to unlock their child’s many talents, gifts and true potential. This presentation will incorporate strategies to help families find their “Power,” share advice from a variety of parents of children who are DHH Plus, and offer tips for families to foster joy in their journey.

Candace Lindow-Davies is the mother of an adult son who is deaf plus other health concerns. For 16+ years, she developed and directed parent support services for MN Hands & Voices.  In May 2017, she became the Director of Outreach for Hands & Voices HQ. She has developed materials for and provided technical assistance/training to family-based organizations in the US, US territories and China. She is passionate about supporting the needs of children/adults who are deaf/hh plus other health issues, creating health and employment equity, as well as ensuring families have access to adults who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Amy Szarkowski is a psychologist who is passionate about working with and supporting children who are deaf or hard of hearing, including children who are Deaf Plus, and their families. Dr. Szarkowski is a Director of The Institute and The Clinic at the Children’s Center for Communication/Beverly School for the Deaf (CCCBSD), LEND faculty at Boston Children’s Hospital, Adjunct Associate Professor in the DHH Infants, Toddlers and Families (ITF) Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate Program at Gallaudet, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She is proud to be a part of the DHH Fostering Joy movement.

Learning Objectives: Following this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Detail a minimum of two strategies for assisting or supporting families in identifying the “priority of needs” for the children who are DHH Plus and their families.
  • Synthesize and articulate at least two possible ways that the presence of reduced hearing in combination with physical disabilities can influence caregiver-child bonding and caregiver-child communication.
  • Describe a common challenge for families of children who are DHH Plus in “finding community” and develop an actionable plan that one can take, in his/her/their present professional role, to help address that challenge.

Dr. Amy Szarkowski and Candace Lindow-Davies each received an honorarium for this presentation, but have no financial or non-financial interests in relation to this presentation. The WSELC seminar is funded by the Washington State Department of Health EHDDI program.

Register to watch “The Power of DHH Plus” webinar.

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Recorded Spring Seminar 2021: The Power of DHH Plus

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