The BCFHRC fosters an environment that supports research endeavours, particularly those involving interdisciplinary collaboration.  Our long-term relationship with the University of British Columbia Faculty of Education’s Program in Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Faculty of Medicine’s School of Audiology and Speech Sciences has resulted in official collaborative agreement(s) which allows us to support each other’s training and research needs.  We are working closely with them as we develop projects that provide education and best practices in early intervention for infants, toddlers and preschoolers that are deaf and hard-of-hearing.  During the past few years, there have been several steps taken to develop a strong research base at BCFHRS.

Current BCFHRS Research Projects

Cultural Humility and Cultural Safety in Early Intervention Services for Children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing and their Families: Perspectives from Parents and Practitioners

Early intervention services for young children who are deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) and their families can mitigate delays in communication, speech and language development. It is, therefore, imperative that all DHH children and their families have equitable opportunities to access and engage in these potentially impactful services. To ensure equitable care is delivered to an ethno-culturally diverse population, we require culturally safe delivery of services by professionals who practice cultural humility and take into consideration a family’s lifestyles, beliefs, religion, language and culture.

By surveying both parents of DHH children and the early intervention practitioners serving them, this study seeks to understand how early intervention services are being accessed by families who do not identify with the dominant culture. We will find out more about the characteristics of culturally safe services, and identify barriers and facilitators to service provision. This will form a baseline for knowledge translation into clinical practice, influencing the development of practice guidelines for cultural safety and humility in the delivery of accessible early intervention services for DHH children.

Identifying factors influencing bone anchored hearing device use for children (birth-school age) with unilateral microtia/atresia.

The small percentage of children in BC with unilateral microtia/atresia using bone anchored hearing devices is concerning given the research showing the benefits of amplification for children with UHL.  Anecdotal parent reports suggest that families receive differing information and recommendations regarding the benefits of hearing device use for children with unilateral microtia/atresia. The factors influencing this decision making process and resulting hearing device use need to be identified in this population. This will be an important first step working towards standardised, evidence-based recommendations.

Selected Publications by BCFHRS Staff

Poon, B. T., & Simmons, N. (2016). Can Routinely Collected Early Intervention Data for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children Be Used for Outcome Monitoring? A Case Example from British Columbia, Canada. Deafness & Education International.

Feehan, A., Francis, C., Bernhardt, B., Colozzo, P. (2015).  Phonological and Morphosyntactic intervention for a twin pair.  Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 2015, Vol. 31(1), 53-69.

Jamieson, Janet R., & Simmons, Noreen R. (2011). Formal and Informal Approaches to the Language Assessment of Deaf Children.  The Oxford Handbook of Deaf Studies, Language and Education, 2011, Vol. 1, 2nd Ed., 290-305.